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Connecticut Agricultural College 

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
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Dress and Look 





Copyright, 1924 

By the Personal Arts Company 

All Rights Reserved 

/ 7^82) 

International Textbook Press 



The desire to be attractive, to feel the assur- 
ance that one is correctly if not beautifully 
dressed is inherent in every vs^oman. With 
the advent of the ^'slim silhouette" the full 
proportioned woman or girl has had a prob- 
lem. It is unfashionable to appear over large 
— and one cannot help feeling conspicuous 
v^hen out of Fashion's range. But, fortu- 
nately, there is a plan by vs^hich the proper 
selection of dress can actually aid you in over- 
coming the handicap of weight. 

There is magic in the principles of "optical 
illusion" and rightly applied it is a kind of 
magic that one can make a permanent reality. 
But magic is subtle. It requires skill, watch- 
fulness, and a close abiding to the rules if 
every "trick" is to be a success. 

In reading this book you will find many 
things that you are advised not to do, but al- 
ways you will find substantial instructions as 
to what to do. And always principles are 
provided which you can use and adapt to a 
great variety of personal needs. 


One of the first essentials of teaching is to 
start a definite line of thinking, and if the 
rules in this book will arouse in you the desire 
to compare the points made with illustrations 
you see of line and color, both in pictures and 
on people, and to test their correctness or in- 
correctness for yourself, it will indeed be 
worth while. 

You, who have started diets and failed with 
them, who have tried exercises and become 
discouraged, hold to this — read every page 
of this book, find the reason back of every 
rule and apply the principles laid down. I 
guarantee that it will be interesting and that 
the results will bring you a renewed assurance, 
confidence and satisfaction with your per- 
sonal appearance and with yourself. Is that 
not enough to commend the book in its en- 

Jane Warren Wells 




Why Women Want to Look Slender i 

When Fashion Demands Slenderness and Youth- 
fulness 5 

Business and Social Life Make Slenderness and 

Youthfulness a Necessity 7 

Making the Most of Your Good Points 8 


The Real Secret of Dressing to Look Slender 15 

Optical Illusions — Seeing Is Believing 17 

Lines That Slenderize and Lines That Don't... 2i 

A Simple Trick That Takes Off Twenty Pounds 28 

Making Yourself Taller Than You Are 32 

Lines That Slenderize Tunics 33 

Apply These Rules to Every Item of Your Attire 36 
Principles That Even the Slender Woman Must 

Know ..,,*» t ..« 1 1 1 f f 1 1 f t f f • 1 1 37 


The Little Things That Make the Big Dif- 
ferences 39 

Watch Your Step 39 

What Your Posture Can Do For You 41 

Shoes and Stockings Must Be Selected With Care 43 
Necklines Are Slenderized by Correct Jewelry 

and Collars 46 

Purses, Fans, and Other Accessories 47 

Neatness and Cleanliness Are Essential 48 



Cosmetics Either Add or Detract 49 

Think of These Little Things Beforehand 51 


Foundations That Slenderize 55 

The Art of Selecting Your Corset 55 

How to Know When Your Corset Fits Exactly 56 

Which is Your Type of Corset ? 60 

The Best Kind of Brassiere for You 61 

The Importance of Smooth, Perfect Fitting 

Underthings 65 


Cardinal Rules For Dresses That Camou- 
flage Size 71 

Remodeling Your Present Wardrobe 71 

Selecting New Clothes That Will Slenderize 

You 76 

The Truth About Surplice Fronts 83 

Sleeves for Large Arms 85 

Slenderizing Fleshy Shoulders 91 

Disguising Weight From the Waistline Down.. 92 

Necklines Make a Tremendous Difference 96 

The Importance of These Slenderizing Trimmings 98 
Helpful Hints from a Leading New York De- 
signer «ft(tittfi««ttifittt«tti«fttfft«t. 100 


Essential Points in Cutting and Fitting 103 

The Helpfulness of Darts in Certain Places. ... 103 

How to Hold the Dress Up on the Shoulders. . 106 

What the Long Underarm Does 106 



The Bias Center Front 107 

How to Add Fullness Without Flare 107 


Fabrics That Slenderize 115 

Facts to Know About Materials 116 

Why Average "Bargains" Are Not an Economy 

for You 1 20 

Choose These Slenderizing Fabrics 120 

Materials You Can Wear 123 

How to Look Smart at All Times 124 

If You Must Practice Economy 125 


Colors That Slenderize 129 

What Colors Not to Wear 130 

Study Color 'Tamilies" 132 

Choose Subtle Shades 134 

A Color Guide to Aid You in Attaining a Slen- 
derizing Appearance 136 

Rules to Remember 139 


The Line of Youth and Grace 143 

When Tailored Clothes Are Smart 143 

Youthful Styles You Can Wear 146 

Youthful Styles to Avoid 149 

Trimness Is Your Goal 151 


The Smart Line of Dignity 155 

Dress Smartly, No Matter How Old You Are. . 156 

If You Are Short and Stout 159 



For the Tall Stout Figure i6i 

Skirts for Dignity i6i 

Sleeves for Grace 162 

Trimmings to Avoid 163 

How the Mature Woman Can Appear Smart, 

Attractive and Charming 166 


Hats and Wraps That Slenderize 171 

Hat Shapes to Wear and Not to Wear 172 

Hat Colors to Wear and Not to Wear 176 

Wraps That Slenderize and Those That Do Not 177 


Looking Slender is an Art, a Necessity, and 

A Pleasure 179 

Harmonious Proportions — ^The Aim of Every 

Woman 180 

Simplicity is the First Essential 182 

Here Are the 10 Chief Rules in a Nutshell 183 




If there is any one thing in the world that 
is not wanted it is too much fat on a woman. 
In my whole lifetime I have heard only one 
overweight woman say she would not be thin 
if she could. I have always regretted that I 
did not ask her why. 

Before I tipped the scales so definitely my- 
self, I paid little attention to the problems of 
the big woman, for of course I was not vitally 
interested in weight reduction or size conceal- 
ment. But when I found my own clothes not 
meeting and the children in the family saying 
I was getting fat, I began to take notice. I must 
have read fifty-odd advertisements on ^'How 
To Get Thin," and I was hopeful of some of 
the methods. We almost had to move from 
a duplex house because I did exercises to 
music and the neighbors could not sleep. I 


ate "woe-be-gone" bread. I even tried to 
melt away in reducing corsets but almost took 
the skin with them when I tried to get them 
off. I read every book I could find on "What 
To Eat" and "What Not To Eat," and I lost 
three good cooks in my efforts to reduce the 
menu to a get-thin basis. 

A prominent actress gave me a prescrip- 
tion for reducing. Her husband, on finding 
it out, came rushing to see me to tell me that 
the prescription was for a drug and that his 
wife in her eagerness to keep within bounds 
demanded by the stage had indulged only to 
become a hopeless addict. 

Then I went to my physician and told him 
I was tired of bruising myself, with rolling, 
my fear would not allow me to take drugs 
and I would have to leave home if I persisted 
in the diet. I begged him to give me some- 
thing to remove the excess of thirty pounds 
and he promptly refused, pointing out to me 
the illnesses and other bad effects that could 
come from abnormal or unnatural reduction. 
He explained that he could give me some- 
thing that would take off the fat but that it 
would age the tissues of the body ten to fif- 
teen years. And youth is something that 


every woman wants to keep, no matter what 
her weight. 

He explained the thyroid theory but re- 
fused to give me an ounce of the preparation 
for my relief and very frankly told me to for- 
get my weight and enjoy the good health that 
I evidenced. I left his office crestfallen and 
disappointed, thinking that if he only knew 
how much the heavy woman wants to appear 
thin enough to wear smart clothes, if he could 
only know how she actually longs for the 
lovely things that fashion creates for the slen- 
der types, he would be more sympathetic. 
But he is a very sane and sensible man and all 
my appeals had no effect. 

However, when my friends continued to 
say, ^^My, I believe you're getting fat" in- 
stead of ''How stunning you look," I realized 
how necessary it was for me to persist in my 
determination to dispose of the thirty extra 
pounds and at the same time indulge my ap- 
preciation for pretty things which is the right 
of every woman, fat or thin. 

I found my clothes problem daily growing 
more serious. Several times I purchased a 
new dress and after one wearing I would dis- 
card it because I looked heavier and older 


than I wanted to look. The problem was 
becoming increasingly difficult because each 
time I stepped upon the scales, I would in- 
variably see recorded two or three pounds 
more than last time. I am sure that many of 
you have meekly slipped off the scales, as I 
have, scarcely waiting long enough to see 
what weight was actually registered, praying 
meanwhile that no one saw where the arrow 
pointed. I simply could not believe the 
scales were right, because before each weigh- 
ing I was certain within myself that I had 
climbed enough stairs, done without enough 
candy, and touched my hands to the floor 
often enough to be at least three pounds 

About this time an inspiration came to me. 
I would ^'get even" with my slender friends. 
If I could not safely reduce, I would at least 
give the appearance of having reduced. If 
I could not actually take off thirty pounds, I 
would make myself look thirty pounds lighter 
in the eyes of others. 

And, after all, is that not what we are most 
concerned, about? Plumpness is more often 
a sign of good health than bad. We could 
be supremely happy with our extra weight if 


only we could look slender. I recalled the 
advice of my physician to "go home and en- 
joy my good health." 

So I started on my campaign to lose thirty 
pounds in appearance, I did it and so quick- 
ly that my friends were amazed at the sudden 
change. I was congratulated on my success 
in reducing. I was told I had never looked 
so well. Friends persistently asked me what 
method of reducing I had followed. In fact 
the success of my plans has been so remark- 
able that I do want every overweight woman 
to know about them. And so into this book 
I am putting the whole story. 


We are all slaves to fashion. For many, 
many years it was the fashion to be plump. 
Venus herself was not slender, but well 
rounded and full of figure. Our mothers 
wore bustles, and bust ruffles if they needed 
them, but as for us, well, it is the fashion to 
look slender, and since it is, we must strive to 
keep within the dictates of the mode. 

My own work is fashion work. I meet 
hundreds of fashion folks. The slender sil- 


houette has been promoted, applauded, ap- 
preciated for years, and as the days and 
months went by and the youthful outline grew 
more important, more prominent, I began to 
realize what a handicap the stout woman was 
under in trying to find attractive clothes. I 
felt like an Eskimo on a summer's day on 
Fifth Avenue. To go into a smart shop to 
buy a new dress only to be looked over and 
directed to the matron's department or that 
of the stylish stouts was too much for my 
pride. I wasn't willing to put myself in the 
out-of-fashion class and appear heavy and 
elderly wearing fronts and vests that had 
written all over them, ''built especially for 
a stout." 

Frequently fashion magazines show sug- 
gestions for ''length lines" — but they seem to 
assume that all overweight women must look 
matronly. Two, in particular, that I remem- 
ber showed the effect of incorrect crosswise 
lines and of correct lengthwise lines. I stud- 
ied them carefully for information and de- 
cided that I would prefer to look round and 
thirty, than straight up and down and sixty. 
Every one of the models, though satisfactory 
in design, added 20 to 30 years to the appar- 


ent age of the wearer, doing nothing to over- 
come one of the most dangerous things 
with which the stout has to contend. For al- 
though no dignified woman wants to look 
like a sixteen-year-old overgrown Susie, still 
she does want to look young, modish, and cor- 
rectly dressed, and no woman is rightly 
dressed who by her clothes adds even one 
year to her age. 

However, I now know that it is possible 
for every woman, whether she is only slightly 
too plump in certain places, or decidedly 
overweight, to make herself look smart, slen- 
der, and many years younger by studying cer- 
tain vital rules of dress and adhering to them 
in planning her wardrobe. 


Women, young, mature, or elderly, at home 
or in business, must always try to look their 
best. They must be so pleasingly and so cor- 
rectly dressed as always to evidence good 
taste, for good taste, after all, is the only real 
authority in dress. Without it, dress loses 
all its power of charm or influence. Espe- 
cially is this true for women in public life. 


The solo singer in the church, the leader of 
the club or mothers' meeting, the social 
worker or politician, all must give evidence 
of good taste and be modestly and correctly 
attired if they are to gain favorable criticism. 
No woman who sings should ever allow it to 
be said of her, ^'I adored the song, but the 
singer's hat annoyed me so that I could not 

A woman's clothes should be beautifully 
alluring and complimentary. This is wom- 
an's heritage, and any woman who allows 
her lack of knowledge to make her unhappy 
or unpleasing to see has only herself to blame, 
for it doesn't take money. It does take infor- 
mation, ingenuity, and a little energy. But 
oh, how worth while the result will be! 


Sometimes we women of over 36 bust be- 
come discouraged. There is really no reason 
for this because most of us have a great many 
good points that we simply do not use to the 
best of our advantage. We worry so unnec- 
cessarily about our bad points that we forget 
about the good ones, but there is much that 
we can do with little or no efifort and the im- 


provement in our appearance is its own re- 
ward. For instance, most big people have nice 
hair, and they should keep it. Any big woman 
who bobs her hair and leaves it that way 
hasn't eyed herself sufficiently in her mirror. 
From her neck up she may look ten years 
younger, but from the neck down she prob- 
ably looks ridiculous. For one of the chief 
rules for good looks is right balance, poise, 
and dignity. So why do anything to hinder 
these? You have one handicap — too many 
pounds. You must do everything you can, 
therefore, to retain every possible attraction, 
and your hair is one of them for it suggests 

We don't want our friends to say that we 
have a great ''mother lap" or a shoulder of 
Gibralter to weep on, but we must set out to 
be substantial in thought, act, and deed to be 
attractive. A little slim girl can giggle and 
be silly if she wants to — she can even wear 
mussed up dresses — but a big girl must be 
modest, and always immaculate in every par- 
ticular. And why not? It's an effort, yes, 
to be always striving for perfection, but it can 
be made a real hobby. Study the attractive 
slender girl who looks well and dresses well. 


Adapt what you can of her attire. Often- 
times, you can learn more of the ^'trick" from 
the slim looking girl than from the stout. 

As you go through fashion books, don't dis- 
credit all the styles and say they are planned 
only for the slim. Study them carefully, find 
a collar from one and waist line from another, 
fabric suggestions from another. Dress to be 
fashionable, but learn to discriminate so that 
you can find the best for you in the new. 

Sometimes I have thought what fun it 
would be if we big folks could dress up and 
reach a point of perfection — so much so that 
the artist would have to get a more flexible 
pencil to express the varying grace of line 
that would be manifest. And why not? Isn't 
it our own fault if fashion forgets us? We 
deserve to be dowdy if we haven't enough 
pride, ingenuity, and perseverance to conceal 
intelligently and comfortably a few extra 

If you are tall and large but not fat, con- 
sider yourself a full well-proportioned figure 
and dress correctly but in plain good quality 
fabrics so that neither height nor width will 
be accentuated. 

Don't try to fool yourself by wearing 


clothes that are too small for you. It is said 
that fat men need the best tailors, and surely- 
all large women should strive to have perfect 
fitting clothes. 

When I was fourteen I wore on a special 
Sunday a long skirt and a bustle, thinking 
that it was better to look eighteen and ^'lady- 
like" than fourteen and overgrown. Don't 
look overgrown in your clothes, but don't ever 
make yourself any older than you are. 

If your ankles are large, have your dresses 
a wee bit longer than fashion calls for. If 
your ankles are small and the legs large above 
the ankle, have your dress slightly long for 
the same reason. If the legs and ankles are 
correctly proportioned for the rest of the 
body, remember that even you need to have 
the skirt just a little bit longer because when 
you sit down you take up some of the skirt 
length. A fat woman sitting down with a 
dress that is too short is not pleasing to see — 
and we big women do love to sit down. 

And in speaking of sitting down, a sanitary 
apron is a real protection to the backs of big 
folks' dresses as it prevents wrinkling. Buy 
one, try it, and you will realize that the back 
of your dress looks much better after you get 


up from a two-hour sitting. And, besides, 
you can console yourself with the fact that if 
perspiration really reduces, your apron is 
serving you twofold — melting the fat and pre- 
venting skirt wrinkles all at the same time. 

Don't ever be tempted to wear frills, ruffles, 
tassels, or ornaments that go forward or wave 
about as you walk. They double your size 
every time and must be avoided. 

A good plan for those of us who like ruffles, 
frills, and bright colors is to put them on our 
night clothes where no one but our very own 
selves can see. 

The house, too, lends opportunity for our 
color appetites and there we may use color 
freely and safely. But because we love red, 
orange, or King's blue is no sign we must 
wear it on our backs for all to see. Buy a 
little piece of fabric with just the colors you 
revel in; put it in the dresser drawer, or let it 
ornament a chair back, look at it every day, 
and thus satisfy your longing for color. Then 
wear those very simple things that you know 
will be becoming. 

One woman whom I know and who looks 
like a fashion plate in the day time and like 
a dream lady at night, always gets everything 


together on the bed before she starts to dress. 
She insists that it takes only a little longer to 
do this, that it saves time when she does get 
ready to dress, and that she is always better 
satisfied with the results. She says, ^^I know 
then that I have the right slip, the right stock- 
ings, that my gloves are suitable, and that 
there are no holes that need attention. In 
putting them on the bed, I always make all 
the little repairs that are necessary and do all 
the brushing or freshening that is needed; 
then when I am ready to dress I feel a sense 
of satisfaction that I can find in no other 

And so, why don't you, who are striving to 
express yourself more beautifully, to dress 
with more satisfaction and peace of mind, try 
this simple little plan of thinking about what 
you are going to wear and getting it ready be- 
fore you start to dress? Then, watching 
always what you see in your mirror, your 
fashion books, on the streets, and in the shops, 
you will find that which is appropriate, be- 
coming, and wholly lovely for you. 

And to these material fundamentals, add 
your own wholesome pride. Don't cheat 
yourself or those who must see you. Don't 


be dowdy. Life is too short and too real for 
that. Learn to be proud of yourself and 
dress so that even you will feel a sense of 
security and assurance. After all, we can be 
rather selfish about just looking right. Other 
folks are glad to see us in pretty clothes — 
looking our best. A right hat, a right dress, 
correctly worn, can really do wonders as a 
tonic. Try it. It really is a good prescrip- 



"Reducing" — by no matter what method — 
is too often a snare and a delusion; for even 
if, after all your efforts, you do lose some 
weight, a little indiscretion in your clothes 
will make you look as stout as ever. 

How to select clothes that are certain to 
make you look slender is the most important 
knowledge a modern woman can have. Surely 
it is the most important art in the whole field 
of fashion. And yet, many designers of clothes 
for stout women do not understand its very 
cardinal principles. Of course, they do de- 
sign so-called "slenderizing stouts'' — but you 
know, perhaps all too well, what they look 
like. Their long surplice effects and drab 
colors say as plainly as words, "I am designed 
for a stout" and nine times out of ten they 
simply call attention to your stoutness. Be- 
sides they are for matronly women — not for 
those who want to look young and smart. It 
seems practically impossible to get youthful 



and appropriate clothes for women who wear 
sizes over 38. Yet it may be only necessary 
to change a neck-line or remove an ornament 
or alter the line of a sleeve in order to trans- 
form a ^'dumpy fat woman's dress" into a 
model of slender grace and youthful charm. 

The whole art rests upon a certain scientific 
principle known to artists and a few expert 
designers. It is called the Principle of Opti- 
cal Illusion, by which things appear to the 
eye to be dififerent than they really are. By 
understanding and properly using this prin- 
ciple, objects may be made to appear larger 
or smaller, taller or shorter. And by em- 
ploying this principle in dress any woman 
can be made to look older or younger, shorter 
or taller, stouter or slenderer than she actu- 
ally is. 

For example, just as white shoes make 
large feet look much larger, so do certain 
lines and colors make a large figure look a 
great deal larger, while correct lines and col- 
ors and subtle touches give the effect of slen- 
derness, youth and grace. 

Every stout woman has, some time in her 
experience, come by chance upon a dress 
which seemed to make her look more slender 


and younger, and she has worn and worn that 
dress almost to shreds, hating to part with it 
because there was no telling when she would 
find another one to give that same effect 

But there is no reason why you should trust 
to chance in selecting becoming clothes. For 
if you know this simple yet all important 
principle of optical illusion, you can plan or 
make or select every item of your wardrobe 
with the certain knowledge that it will have 
a slenderizing effect on your appearance. 

You can know beforehand that every dress, 
every coat, every hat, every garment you wear 
will be designed to give you height instead 
of width, youth instead of matronliness, slen- 
derness and grace instead of heaviness. It 
doesn't matter whether you buy your clothes 
ready made, have them made by a dress- 
maker, or make them yourself — you can 
always know just what to select to make your 
particular type of figure look as slim and well 
proportioned as possible. 


You yourself are familiar with many opti- 
cal illusions, although you may never have 
thought of them as such. When you look 



The two vertical lines are exactly the same length — measure 

them and see. Short lines turned back at either end make one 

seem short; extended lines make the other seem longer. 



These two illusions are almost duplicated in the dresses above. 

As a result one woman looks shorter and heavier, the other 

taller and slenderer than she really is. 



down the railroad tracks the rails appear to 
come together in the distance. No matter 
how much you tell yourself that the rails do 
not actually come together, the fact remains 
that they appear to do so. If you put the end 
of a stick in water it appears broken, although 
you know that in fact it is not broken. 

The eyes in a certain portrait seem to follow 
you, no matter where you may go in the room 
in which it is hung. This illusion persists, no 
matter how much you may tell yourself that 
the eyes do not actually move. When you 
are on a moving train it is only by the con- 
stant succession of passing trees, posts, and 
lanscape that you realize you are going for- 
ward. When these objects are shut off from 
your view by a train going in the opposite 
direction, you seem to be going backward. 
Or if you look at a moving picture taken from 
the front of a rapidly moving train or motor 
launch, it is difficult not to get the impression 
that you are rushing forward. 

All of these are optical illusions, yet we do 
not think of them as illusions. They repre- 
sent the natural and the normal and we make 
allowances for them. 

The laws of illusion are more easily under- 


Stood, perhaps, by means of simple lines than 
any other way. You will grasp them quickly 
by studying the various figures which illus- 
trate this chapter. 

Let us take a simple example to begin with 
having directly to do with the use of straight 
lines in dress. You have probably read a 
thousand times and heard a hundred times 
more that stout people must work for straight 
line effects and the straight line silhouette. 
But it is one thing to know this fact and an- 
other actually to accomplish it in your clothes. 
You can^t just hang a straight line down from 
the shoulder like a carpenter's plumb on a 
door sill. You must know just where and 
just how to apply the straight line. You 
must learn to use straight lines so that they 
blend in with your costume — so that they give 
the desired efifect without calling attention to 
the means by which it is achieved. 

THAT don't 

It is a popular theory among folks who 
would dress to look slender that stripes run- 
ning up-and-down are the thing to wear, 
while stripes running across are to be avoided. 

These unbroken parallel vertical lines give the definite im- 
pression of height. This principle, used in the design of the 
dress above, lends it a pleasing slender appearance because no 
other lines interfere widi the straight line effect. 


Here, also, are two vertical parallel lines. They are straight 
—test them — but the other lines radiating from the center, make 
them appear "bowed." In the dress above a similar design 
makes the wearer appear stouter and heavier than she really is. 



This belief, like many another old-fashioned 
one, is only half true. For instance, it is 
true that if the up-and-down stripes in your 
material are very fine and unobtrusive they 
will have the effect of making you look taller 
and slimmer. This, however, is not at all 
true of broad stripes or of stripes in a defi- 
nitely contrasting color — quite the contrary, 
in fact. Pronounced stripes merely call at- 
tention to themselves and do not create the 
illusion of slenderness which is desired. 

But this is only one of many points to be 
taken into consideration when you plan a 
dress with stripes or with straight up-and- 
down lines of any kind. For instance, the 
illustrations on pages 18 and 19 show two 
up-and-dow^n lines of exactly the same length. 
Take your ruler and measure them to con- 
vince yourself. Now note the effect on these 
lines of the shorter lines added to each end. 
The inverted arrows added to the line at the 
left make it appear shorter than it really is. 
The extended lines added to the one at the 
right make it appear longer than it really is. 
Now note the two costumes on these same 
pages in which these principles have been 
applied. In the one shown on the left 


the figure looks shorter and stouter than it 
really is, while in designing the dress on the 
right the correct use of the optical illusion 
has been observed and the result is a slender, 
graceful appearance. You can readily see 
from these pictures how a straight line effect 
can be either accentuated or shortened by the 
lines that run out from it. 

There are many ways in which a stout 
woman who does not know this principle 
can easily ruin the effect of a costume. For 
instance, a woman who wears a perfectly 
straight up-and-down dress of quite correct 
lines may put a large mushroom shape hat on 
her head and perhaps a band of fur around 
the bottom of her skirt. This has precisely 
the same effect as the arrows which are 
turned the wrong way and therefore shorten 
and widen the straight line. 

^'I cannot understand why I look so short 
and dumpy," she wails despairingly. ''My 
dress is made on perfectly straight up-and- 
down lines and yet I look fatter than ever." 
Of course she does, because instead of extend- 
ing the straight up-and-down line by a small 
upturned hat of some sort and an unobtru- 
sive skirt hem, she has broken the line at the 

These two diamond-shaped figures are exactly the same size. 

The crosswise line makes one seem wider, the vertical line 

makes the other seem narrower. 


Now note how these same principles used in the dresses above 

effect the apparent size and weight of those wearing them, 

making one seem much stouter than the other. 



lop and bottom and thereby shortened and 
widened her appearance. 


Another point to be very careful about is 
the matter of uninterrupted straight lines. 
For instance, the small diagrams on pages 
22 and 23 show two pairs of perfectly 
straight up-and-down parallel lines. This is 
probably hard for you to believe, since the 
lines in the right-hand figure seem to defi- 
nitely bulge outwards. However, careful 
measurement with your ruler or a pencil will 
prove to you that the lines actually are as 
straight as those in the figure on the left. 
These latter, however, appear straight because 
they are uninterrupted and unbroken. Those 
at the right appear to bulge outwards merely 
because there are so many radiating lines run- 
ning through them. 

Applying this principle to clothes, you can 
easily see that the tall, slender effect you 
hoped to gain by the straight up-and-down 
lines of your costume may be entirely ruined 
if you apply trimmings of any kind which 
radiate outwards toward these lines. The 


dresses shown on pages 22 and 23 will prove 
this to you. The woman at the left with her 
uninterrupted, harmonious, gracefully flow- 
ing up-and-down lines looks taller, slenderer, 
more dignified and in every way more pleas- 
ing than the woman at the right, the radiating 
lines of whose gown make her figure seem to 
bulge outwards in a most discouraging 

Another striking example of optical illusion 
showing one reason why some look stouter 
than they really are is shown in the illustra- 
tions on pages 26 and 27. As in the pre- 
vious examples, the two figures (diamond 
shape figures in this case) are, by actual mea- 
surement, exactly the same size. The hori- 
zontal line across the one at the left, how- 
ever, makes it appear much wider than the 
one at the right with the vertical line through 
the center. 

Now study the clothes of the two women 
which illustrate these illusions. Both women 
are holding their arms so as to give their 
figures a sort of diamond shape. The one 
at the left, however, by her broad, drooping 
hat, her large, bulky fur stole, the large-fig- 
ured material of her tunic, and especially by 

The middle lines in the two small diagrams are the same length. 

But on the left, shorter accompanying lines seem to shorten the 

one beween. On the right longer accompanying lines seem to 

lengthen the one between. 


Now see how the woman at the left has unknowingly empha- 
sized her stoutness while the one at the right has properly- 
gained a slender effect by using trimming in accordance with 
the principles of these optical illusions. 



the horizontal, or nearly horizontal lines of 
her neck, her girdle, and the band of fur on 
her skirt, gives herself the appearance of con- 
spicuous stoutness. 

On the other hand, the woman at the right 
has designed her costume entirely on the 
principles of vertical lines. The tall hat with 
its appropriate trimming, the long, simple 
lines of her collar, her neck-piece, the row of 
tiny buttons down the front of her dress, and 
indeed the lines of the dress itself all con- 
spire to give her the appearance of height, 
smartness, and slenderness. 


By the illustrations on pages 30 and 31 
you may learn the value of emphasizing a 
long line by the trick of placing it between 
two longer lines rather than between two 
shorter ones. As in the previous examples, 
the middle line in each figure is identically 
the same length. The one at the left, how- 
ever, appears much shorter than the one at 
the right, because of a suggestion contained 
in the parallel lines which surround it. 

In the dresses illustrated here, this prin- 
ciple is strikingly applied. The short verti- 


cal bands of trimming in the figure at the left 
make the center band seem shorter than it 
really is, whereas, the long vertical bands in 
the figure at the right make the center band 
seem longer than it really is.* Thus, by the 
application of this seemingly unimportant 
trifle, the woman at the right seems slenderer, 
taller, and smarter than the one at the left. 


Just one more example. The figures on 
pages 34 and 35 show how a longer, slim- 
mer effect may be created by parallel lines 
emphasizing an oblique or slanting line. In 
the figure on the left the plain oblique line 
seems much more horizontal and wider than 
it does in the figure on the right where the 
same line, actually on the same slant, seems 
much longer and more graceful because of 
the parallel lines which break it and thereby 
emphasize its length. 

This effect is gained by using the simple 
principle of optical illusion shown in the 
small diagram on page 35. The line run- 
ning down from upper left to lower right is 
actually straight — test it and see. But the 
two perpendicular lines which break it cause 

Note the diagonal line in the opposite diagram. It is actually 
straight, but the vertical lines which break it give it a "going- 
down-steps" appearance. This principle is used in the dress 
at the right — the two vertical panels of trimming break the 
line of the tunic and give the whole figure a more slender 
appearance than in the figure above. 






it to seem to drop faster than it really does. 
This gives the effect of greater height and 
less width to the entire figure. 

Dresses planned with this principle in mind 
will surely be more successful in their slen- 
derizing effect, as you will see by these con- 
trasting illustrations. The oblique line at 
the bottom of the tunic in the dress at the left 
seems almost horizontal and much wider than 
the same line in the figure at the right which 
is made to seem longer and more graceful by 
the parallel vertical lines of embroidery 
which intersect it and so emphasize its ap- 
pearance of length and grace. 


There are dozens of other tricks which our 
eyes play on us which must be taken into ac- 
count by women who want to look slender. 
A very careful study, therefore, of the optical 
illusions in this chapter will repay you many 
times in the matter of line, cut and pattern 
of every dress, wrap, hat, and pair of shoes 
that you buy. You must see that the facts of 
illusion may either work to produce an ap- 
pearance of bigness or one of smallness. 


Every suggestion in this book is written with 
the idea of applying these essential principles 
of optical illusion to your dress — of produc- 
ing in every case the slenderest possible 


Not only very stout women, but moderately 
stout women, and even slender women should 
also bear these principles in mind, for even 
the slender woman can lose all the advantage 
of her slender silhouette and may actually 
appear stout by failing to dress in accordance 
with these optical illusions. An ill-chosen or 
badly-designed gown or wrap may easily give 
her the appearance of being many pounds 
heavier than she really is. 

When you yourself begin planning your 
clothes according to these simple, though 
magically effective rules, you will very soon 
begin to find real artistic pleasure in your 
clothes, to say nothing of the improvement in 
your appearance. I am certain that you will 
feel about it as I did, that here at last is the 
only real and permanent way to look slender. 
For even though by strenuous efforts you are 


able actually to reduce your weight, it is not 
pounds, but appearance, that counts. You 
may know what the scales say, but other peo- 
ple will weigh you with the eye. Dress so 
you look slender and you can stop worrying 
about your size and weight and be as healthy, 
happy, and attractive as any of your slender 



As I told you in Chapter I, the stout woman 
has a great many good points which she some- 
times neglects in worrying about her main 
problem. This is a great mistake because 
after all the little things do make the big dif- 
ferences and there) are so many little things 
that you can do with scarcely any effort at 
all which help so tremendously in gaining 
the effect that you want. 


For instance, there is the matter of walk- 
ing. I am not going to give you any definite 
exercises, but it is a very easy and splendid 
practice to try to walk with a "slipping up" 
step, that is, practice walking easily so that 
you won't appear to weigh a thousand pounds. 
If you are light on your feet people will for- 
get to guess your weight. Don't let your 
body slump down, if you have this tendency. 
Find some exercises that you can do happily 



and comfortably, not to reduce, but to culti- 
vate grace and ease of motion. When you are 
all alone in the house and nobody is looking, 
trip around lightly and exaggerate a light, 
easy step. Turn on the victrola and do your 
dusting to music. It will help you wonder- 
fully in gaining that ease of motion which is 
attractive and pleasing and encourages youth. 
Always endeavor to overcome heaviness in 
step and movement, for it adds years both to 
your appearance and to your feelings. Re- 
member that your attitude has so much to do 
with your good looks. 

Don't ever stand with your feet apart or 
your hands limp at your sides. One foot a 
little in front of the other gives an easier 
appearance and makes you seem less weighty. 
Make a practice of keeping your hands com- 
fortably in front of you, never rest them on 
your hips wash woman fashion. Such posi- 
tions broaden the silhouette and give a ^'set" 
look that is most unbecoming. A large wo- 
man with her feet spread apart and arms 
hanging like burdens always at her sides 
makes a very hea\y and unattractive picture. 

Don't cross your arms. Two fat arms can 
look like four, if you are not careful. 


Stretch and keep yourself limber. Bend so 
that you are continually used to it, then your 
face won't get red every time you drop your 
handkerchief. And right here it may be 
well to say that most women use up more 
energy than they need to and look much more 
undignified than they need to when they stoop 
to pick things up. It is neither necessary nor 
graceful to bend so that your back almost 
breaks in the middle. It is a much easier 
and pleasanter gesture to bend at the knees 
and go straight down until you can reach the 
object you want to pick up. In doing this 
you can keep your head straight up all the 
while and need not get red in the face at all. 


Learn to stand up straight like a soldier. 
Most fat women seem to have the idea that 
they ought to "scrooch" down and disguise 
their size in that way. But in this campaign 
to dress and be thin the back-bone must be 
definitely straight. Don't hunch yourself up 
and look like a pillow tied in the middle. 
Sit straight on your chair and stand straight 
when you are up. Hold your head high. A 
constant practice of chin up makes you ap- 


pear taller and erases in the easiest possible 
way any tendency towards a double chin. 

Dressing up to your weight is good psy- 
chology for it keeps you alert. You hold 
your head a little higher and grow naturally 
to observe that essential rule of standing al- 
ways just as tall as you possibly can. Also, 
your mental alertness is a safeguard against 
additional fat. I never knew it to fail — a 
definite interest in clothes, in looking one's 
best, keeps the fat away. It has a sort of a 
rabbit-foot charm about it that really does 

Remember continually that it isn't the dress 
alone that you need watch, but every detail, 
for the little things can destroy the big, you 
know, and the principles of optical illusion 
must be adhered to as strictly in the little 
things as in the big. For instance, eyeglasses 
can accentuate a round face or slenderize it, 
depending upon their prominence and shape. 
Buttons can stick out and look bulky; shirt- 
waists when worn with different color skirts 
can cut you in two; and belts of different 
color than skirt or blouse can prove even more 
treacherous. Gloves or shoes that are too 
small give your size away. Lacy stockings 



emphasize where they shouldn't and are as 
faulty as they are expensive. Before we get 
through with this book I hope that I can re- 
store your pride and self-assurance and that by 
making the most of these little pointers you 
will find your back-bone right where it ought 
to be. You will then be able to meet the 
world with a smile, knowing that at last you 
not only feel but look better than you ever 
have before. 


What kind of shoes and stockings do you 
wear? Not pumps, I hope, because your 

Above — Neatly shod feet. 

Left — Low cut pumps and 

single strap emphasize 

fat. Heavy shoes have 

too much decoration. 

Stockings must always be on straight and well held up, and 
shoes must fit. Straps that hold firmly are more effective than 
those that are narrow and less restraining. Heavy shoes should 
be plain in design. Skirts should always be long enough to 
cover the largest part of the leg below the knee. 


weight is too great to be comfortable in them, 
and besides if you have studied the principles 
of optical illusion as carefully as you should 
have, you will realize that pumps will not 
give you the harmonious effect that you want 
to achieve in your costume. A bulge is sure 
to show at the top which is not only uncom- 
fortable for you but shows in itself that you 
are fat. Wear a strap or laced slipper — any 
kind that is in good taste, big enough, and not 
too heavy. Heavy shoes on a stout woman 
interfere with lightness of movement which is 
something for which you must continually 

Unless you have very attractive, well-pro- 
portioned feet, do not attempt to decorate the 
bottom of your dress, for it will not only 
shorten you but will call attention to your 
feet. If they are very small they make the 
body appear larger and if the ankles are large 
they give an undesirable heaviness, so that 
the very best way, in any event, is not to call 
attention to them. 

Many authorities say that a black sheer 
stocking is the very best that a stout woman 
can wear, that a heavy black or dark colored 
stocking is conspicuous, and a light stocking 



Round necklines emphasize width. Even though tempting, they 
are taboo for those who would slenderize. Long necklines 
are always pleasing and are of many variations. A close 
study of current fashion books will give ideas that can always 
be accentuated in length without outstepping Fashion dictation. 

is ^'taboo" because it breaks the height and 
interferes with the straight line effect. So 
choose sheer stockings, but don't hesitate to 
buy ^^out" sizes if you need them. If they are 
big enough over the knees they will fit better 
around the ankles. I know some big women 
who refuse to buy '^out" size stockings because 
they are ashamed to go in and ask for them, 
and I know some medium slender women 
who buy them because they think they last 
longer. So pretend that you are medium 
slender and buy them if they are more com- 



We big women usually have some one who 
loves us enough to give us jewelry and we in 
turn love them enough to want to wear it on 
every occasion. If it doesn't express slender- 
ness — if it's a big cameo or a heavy pair of 
earrings or a string of round marble beads, 
especially in dog collar arrangement — put it 
away and forget where you put it. Wear 
such jewelry some morning when no one is 
looking; have your own little ^^revelry'' and 
have it over with, for such jewelry puts on 
more pounds than entire boxes of candy and 
makes us look like jeweled couch cushions, 
which we can never afford to do. 

A necklace that is slender, well made, and 
with a tendency to plainness is a real asset to 
a stout woman as it helps the collar line, 
slenderizes the face, and gives the appearance 
of length over the front that is pleasing, but 
avoid by all means heavy crystals and don't 
ever wear beads unless they give a definitely 
desirable lengthening effect. 

Watch your collars closely. Work for 
slenderness and becomingness. Avoid all 


J V 

1 i 


\ i 




! } 





i I 

Gloves, purses and necklaces need to be chosen with infinite 

care to aid in slenderizing. Link chains, cords, fine pearls or 

small oblong beads are best as necklaces. Slender flat purses 

are desirable and neat, -well-fitting gloves necessary. 

neck lines that go around or that are conspic- 
uously colored. A cream collar is always 
better than a snow white one and a soft pique 
or linen collar is better than a starched one. 
Remember that long string ribbon ties can be 
real friends if you will let them. Tailor 
your collars or use soft lace that is not baby 
looking. We big folks must always keep 
away from babyishness, must learn to stand 
on our own two feet and look straight ahead 
toward the goal of slenderness. 

Pocketbooks and purse bags must be slen- 
der, never round or bulky looking, and must 


always harmonize with the dress and never 
be conspicuously colored. Remember too, 
not to let your bag dangle awkwardly from 
your hand or add to your width by the way 
you carry it. Let it be a part of the line of 
your costume just as it is in harmony with the 

Graceful fans of subdued colors often aid 
in a pleasing gracefulness, but little fans 
allow of an uncomplimentary comparison, 
just as do small, gay parasols. 

Fat fingers are shortened and made more 
fat by heavy rings. 

Earrings widen the face. Sometimes a 
slender face accompanies a broad body. In 
such a case, earrings are an advantage if they 
are appropriate and graceful. 

Jeweled belts, conspicuous in ornamenta- 
tion, must all be given away to willowy 
friends, because they could prove helpful to 
them and a menace to you. 


Once when I was writing a book on dress, 
a fashion authority and personal friend in- 
sisted that I should not put in a chapter on 
cleanliness, which I w^anted very much to 


use, saying that it "put an ugly frame on an 
otherwise beautiful picture." But personal 
cleanliness and careful grooming to my mind 
are so necessary that no book on dress would 
be complete without them. 

We may not have beautiful clothes, and 
may grieve that we are not willowy enough 
to wear the smart extremes in dress, but our 
grieving is totally unnecessary. We can learn 
truly to be as attractive, as admirable as our 
slender sisters if we set out with the will and 
determination to express perfection so far as 
our ability and intelligence will allow. A 
fresh bath, some bath talcum, clean, well-fit- 
ting underthings, neat, good-looking shoes, 
and modest stockings can give an enhancing 
foundation for the dress we have so carefully 
planned. And when we are spic and span 
from the inside out we are sure to dress with 
more dignity, more poise, than we possibly 
could otherwise. 


Thick lips should never wear rouge, and 
black eyebrows should never be blackened; 
neither should a pale, grayed face be sur- 
rounded by a dull gray or black hat. This 


is all out of key and attracts unnecessary at- 
tention. We must express some color tone, 
just as we do personality, but it must be subtle 
or vivacious, discreet or bold, and in both 
cases must be individually becoming. 

If the eyes are dull in color, do not wear 
bright colors on your hats for the eyes lose 
in comparison, and eyes can always express 
friendly happiness and individuality if we 
surround them properly. 

Avoid a shiny nose as you would the 

Beware of oily creams. Remember an as- 
tringent reduces and controls and that 99 cases 
out of a hundred need oilless creams rather 
than oily ones. Beware of rouge. Your face 
usually will have color enough. If it hasn't, 
use it, oh, so wisely. 

Study your face carefully, experiment with 
color in front of an honest mirror that is 
placed in full day light. Rouge and powder 
rightly applied can narrow the face and prove 
very advantageous, so experiment and put the 
color just where you need it, but don't put 
on any until you have picked up a couple of 
things from the floor and walked around the 
room quickly at least twice. Work to look 


immaculate. It is so much more becoming. 
Baby faces and full proportioned bodies don't 
go well together, and harmony we must have 
throughout this program. 

If your forehead is low, powder the fore- 
head generously and comb the hair back as 
much as becomingness will allow. This will 
tend to add height to the body and length to 
the face. 

It is said that a large woman is usually 
very dainty in her habits just as a large man 
invariably has a very tiny, neat signature, so 
let it be an asset, and be dainty about your 
use of cosmetics. It is so much more pleas- 
ing than an extravagant use could ever be. 


Buy a few things and have everything 
right. Think of all of your wardrobe at one 
time. Be sure that everything goes together 
agreeably. Take care to keep every part of 
your clothing in good repair and immaculate- 
ly clean. Every woman can gain a reputation 
for being well dressed if she remembers not 
to be haphazard in buying, wearing, and car- 
ing for her clothes. If you have any of these 
habits, come, let us talk them over confiden- 


tially, because I, too, have had to learn by 
sheer necessity to overcome, one by one, these 
very expensive, annoying tendencies, and the 
only way I succeeded was to learn, as a matter 
of habit, to hang things up carefully when I 
took them off, to make sure that dress shields 
were in place, and to take special care to have 
everything in right shape when it was time to 

Take very special pains to have all support- 
ers securely fastened, stockings on straight, 
and each garment rightly in place, for neat- 
ness in dress is more essential for us than al- 
most any other thing. In fact, fastidious 
care of person and clothes is one feature 
which requires constant vigilance. 

Avoid every tendency toward over dress. 
Don't trim yourself too much. Modesty, 
simplicity — intricate simplicity perhaps, but 
a beautiful simplicity — is a definite part of 
our program and must be followed out relig- 
iously to conceal at all times an extra 30 or 
40 pounds. 

Be sure that the brassiere and corset over- 
lap at their joining. The brassiere should 
come over the corset a good 2 inches to insure 
its holding. If the abdomen is full or stom- 


ach high, supporters fastened to the brassiere 
at the front are an advantage. 

Never allow your shoes to squeak or your 
gloves to pinch in their tightness. Never 
allow a spot to show on any garment. Be 
immaculate, work at it, keep at it, for you, 
you know, have a definite purpose that must 
be achieved. 



Although this is termed the corsetless era, 
the best dressed women are still wearing cor- 
sets and will continue to wear them because 
they realize the necessity of retaining lovely 
curves and lines. When the slender woman 
is careful about her corset, what must the 
responsibility be of the large woman? It is 
just this — that she must wear a corset — that 
she must select it with such care and have it 
fitted with such perfection that even she can 
forget it once it is on. No evidence of a cor- 
set is ever seen on a correctly dressed woman. 


Wear corsets for comfort and perfection in 
dress, not with the thought that they will re- 
duce. Remember that you always need your 
wits and all the alacrity of thought you can 
master and a too tight corset paralyzes both. 

Read with me through this section because 
here you will get some real help and be able 



to apparently reduce your hip measure two 
inches and your bust possibly six. 

Do you know that when your corset is a 
28 waist or over you are counted by the cor- 
set manufacturers in the stout class? That 
seems absurd. One would think they would 
wait at least until the measurement was 30 
or 32 before calling one stout, but since this 
is so, no one need be sensitive about order- 
ing a size that is right. That means large 
enough usually, for you have a long range — 
26 to 46 waist measurement — so buy a corset 
that is big enough, that allows the flesh to 
rest comfortably yet be properly controlled. 
Tight corsets are a menace as are tight bras- 
sieres, and by packing the flesh in a fixed 
position, grace of movement is destroyed and 
you are made to appear actually larger than 
you are. 


Don't ever let your modesty or your pride 
keep you from being fitted properly. All 
merchants and corsetieres expect to fit the cor- 
sets they sell. They know their stock better 
than you do, and realize that a proper corset 



Your corset should be long enough to hold the flesh securely 

and evenly. But the front stays must be short enough to allow 

you to sit and bend comfortably. 

can definitely and permanently help in cor- 
recting line, moulding it easily and gracefully, 
making a satisfied customer for them. A 
full-proportioned figure is ugly only when it 
runs over. Graceful, even curves are pleas- 
ing to see, and we big folk can make our own 
curves graceful if we will. 

Always sit down in your corset when it is 
being fitted to make sure that the stays in the 
front are not too long. They may be short- 
ened easily and are much better, because you 
cannot comfortably sit rared back as you must 
when the stays are too long. 

"A" illustrates a corset long over the hips and -with elastic 

inserts at the waistline, suitable for a medium figure. 
"B" shows a heavier type suitable for short figures that require 

considerable support. 
"C" shows a very comfortable and practical corset suitable to 

medium large figures. 

"D" shows the front and back of a girdle corset with elastic 

inserts. This gives a youthful line, particularly suited to the 

athletic type. 

Rubber, or silk and rubber corsets or combination corsets and 
brassiere give a smooth outline and often are graceful and 
becoming. When new they reduce the hips two to three inches. 
Be sure to have them fitted properly. If too small, they are 
very uncomfortable; if too large, useless. 

Corsets that lace or fasten in the front give a smoother back 
and are more easy to adjust than are back lace corsets. Their 
height, length, elasticity and weight must be considered in 
buying and fitting, so that your corset when on is in nowise 
evident to you in feeling or to the eye. A corset does not fit 
correctly if the line of either top or bottom is visible when 
the dress is on. Corsets should be kept in perfect repair and 
discarded when their line is lost. 




Some corset folks say there are eleven types 
of women to fit, others nine, others six. But, 
in general, these are the usual types : 

Mrs. Brown is big in the hips and small in 
the bust. For her type of figure a corset low 
above the waist, long in the hips — front laced, 
is best. Supple corsets, long in the back, are 
a preventative against a large back and help 
to slenderize. They should, therefore, be 
worn as long as grace and comfort will allow. 
If they are too short, a roll of fat will form 
around where they terminate and cause you 
to lose the easy curve that even big folks can 
be proud of. Mrs. Brown should also have 
a slip to wear over the corset in preference 
to a brassiere. The slip should be semi- 
fitted, shaped over the hips so that not a 
wrinkle or line will show. 

Mrs. Jones — another stout type — is normal 
size but large in the abdomen. She should 
have a corset fitted close over the hips, but 
not tight in the waist, allowing the fat to 
drop down in the top of the corset and find a 
comfortable resting place. A brassiere that is 
long in the front should be worn. 


A square shoulder, broad hip type of fig- 
ure needs a deep girdle — an elastic one is 
best — one that is low in the waist, snug and 
straight over the hips with an easy fitting 
boyish form brassiere. 


"And what is a boyish form brassiere?" 
you ask. A straight piece of material with 
the darts coming down from the top in the 
front. You can make one for yourself in a 
few minutes. For a fashionable line across 
the bust don't ever dart from the waist- 
line up, as we have been doing in the past. 
For when you do, the fullness is pushed up 
under the chin, as it were, and actually will 
add six inches to the bust measure. If you 
are small in the waist and large in the hips, 
you can, by right corseting and "brassiering'* 
cause some of the fat of the hips and abdo- 
men to come up slightly, thus acquiring a 
more slender and better balanced effect. But 
as a general rule, let your watchword be: 
Distribute the fat comfortably and correctly. 
Don't crowd it or push it here and there. 
Your face, your disposition, and your figure 

Brassieres are as necessary as corsets. They should never be 
80 tight as to bind, but always close enough to give a smooth 
outer line. They must always be high enough to confine 
the bust perfectly and long enough to come down well over 
the corset so that an unbroken waistline is attained. 

Darts at the tops of brassieres give good bust control and 
hold the garment in correct position on the figure. 


as well will show it if you do. You can't be 
uncomfortable and be well poised. 

Hunt for the ^4arge above the waist" fig- 
ure. If the bust is very low, be sure to wear 
a brassiere that lifts up slightly and confines 
comfortably. Youth in its greatest perfection 
can have unconfined busts; older women, 
especially large women, should take care that 
no shaping of the bust is discernible. If V 
necks are becoming and the bust is full, pro- 
vide a band of ribbon or a double fold of 
Georgette and wear it over the brassiere, pin- 
ning it tight and high around the figure. This 
will conceal the crease between the busts. 

Finally, don't fail, when you are being fit- 
ted in your corset, to stand up in front of a 
mirror, walk right up and ^'shoulder arms" 
and survey yourself. The corsetiere is sure 
to be stout. Who ever saw a thin one? She 
will sympathize with you and be patient. 
Try on her best models — not her silkiest 
ones, but her best designed ones. Sit down, 
stand up, bend over. Buy the one that shows 
the least red in your face when you bend. Be 
sure it has plenty of supporters. 

Left — Corselettes may be worn by large women having firm 

flesh, the "athletic type," but exercise must go with them to 

prevent an accumulation of flesh that is sure to occur when 

the body is unconfined. 

Right — Brassieres for evening wear may have a firm band of 

ribbon sewed tight to the top and this brought around and 

pinned securely at the center back. Drawing this close will 

insure the garments staying up properly. 



Put your corset under your arm, stop and 
buy ly^ yards of 40-inch nainsook or crepe 
de Chine, go home and make yourself a com- 
bination slip. This is to be worn over your 
corset and brassiere and will give a perfectly, 
smooth foundation for your dresses. Remem- 
ber that your corset, brassiere, and slip must 
be so well fitted that no bumps or hangovers 
will be evident. 

We fat women — and I don't know why — 
have a natural hankering for lacy underwear, 
and that hankering is just as uncontrollable 
as our appetite for luscious bonbons. I do 
not intend to tell you that you can't have 
lovely undergarments, but you must make 
sure that the lace or trimming is put where it 
cannot bulge out. 

Knitted underwear fits best, but you needn't 
wear just the most ordinary kind, because 
with a little ingenuity a plain, inexpensive 
piece can be bought and trimmed attractively 
with bands or strips of lace, straight-line 
fashion, so that they will have a dainty, hand- 
made look and yet be as smooth and straight 

A variety of slips are shown. The one at the left has a 
2-inch band of fine net at top and bottom. This as a sub- 
stitute for lace is quite as dainty and less bulky. 

For a full bust, the diagonal darts at the right are advan- 
tageous, as they make possible a straight slim skirt 


rrp r 

For youf slips remember that stripes partially concealed 
are effective yet unobtrusive, as for example, a striped slip 
under a plain voile or georgette dress. If you are broad 
through the shoulders, shape the slip to reduce the width. 
Deep hems make extra petticoats unnecessary. Fulness in 
a slip is essential, otherwise the garment will pull up when 
you sit down, making you seem stouter than you are. An 
inverted plait at the center back or at the sides is the best 
way to add fulness. 

In selecting underwear, choose light-weight, smooth, close-fitting 

garments — fine knitted ones or those of softest muslin. 

A shirt and bloomers are preferred by some — others, the 

straight combination. Select that which suits you best, but 

keep in mind the essentials of slenderness. 



on the body as can be. Combination suits 
similar to those illustrated are suggested for 
slenderness. If you have ruffles on any that 
you have in the dresser drawer, take them off. 
Press out the ruffles and stitch the bands on 
plain. Don't indulge in ruffles! 

Omit all draw ribbons at the top of lin- 
gerie. Use tiny lengthwise darts to fit the 
garments close and smooth. 

For the same reasons, omit all gathers at 
the waistline. Fit the garment so smooth 
that not a wrinkle or line is visible when the 
dress is on. 

By following these really simple rules in 
regard to your underthings you are ready to 
give your attention to the part of your cos- 
tume which shows; namely, dress, wrap, and 
hat, but don't make the mistake of thinking 
that these are the only things that show. For 
without smooth, perfectly fitting underwear, 
corset, brassiere and slip, your outer gar- 
ments cannot possibly give you that appear- 
ance of sylph-like slenderness which is your 



We will now assume that right corsets and 
slips have been acquired, that you see and 
realize the possibilities of optical illusions 
and that a keen desire is evident to avoid, 
overcome, and correct every fault that hinders 
a right expression of clothes. I use the word 
^^right'' in a broad sense, because in working 
to look slender in dress you will necessarily 
achieve a happy degree of perfection that 
will prove quite as much of an asset as the 
appearance of slenderness. 

I know you are eager for the start to actual 
rules and formulas, but first we must acquire 
enough ''feeling" for line, color, and fabric 
to use the three wisely. The most econom- 
ical way to do this is to start with what you 
have on hand. 


To the closet now. v 

Take out your big-figured dress. Every 
large woman owns a figured dress of some 



kind. There is something different about you 
if you haven't one. I don't know why, but 
evidently we all have felt that we might get 
lost in the expanse of the pattern and become 
less conspicuous. 

Take time to put this figured dress on so 
that you won't get red in the face doing it. 
Yes, you will find it is too short waisted ; the 
sleeves are too short, the neck is too high, the 
skirt too full. You hated to admit that you 
needed a 44 pattern so used a 42 and allowed 
a little extra room across the hips. (I know 
just how you felt, for I have done the same 
thing myself). 

Now survey yourself in front of the mirror. 

You haven't any goods like the dress, so 
you must add something to it. For a figured 
dress of Georgette or silk, plain color Geor- 
gette is suggested. See on page 73 how the 
sleeves are lengthened by a deep cuff, the col- 
lar effect lowered by a scarf, the waist let 
down and made looser by means of the excess 
material in the skirt. 

Next, try on that plain tailored dress that 
you have been planning to rip up or give 
away. If it has an out of style waistline or 
heavily braided revers, make up your mind 

Here is a large-figured dress remodeled to give it length 
lines and a more slender appearance. The neckline has been 
changed, the heavy prominent girdle removed and a narrow 
belt substituted, the waistline dropped, the sleeves lengthened 
and a scarf of plain material added. 



to sacrifice them now — to rip apart and to 
take off the revers. Consider some black 
satin if the dress is dark blue, or some white 
pique if white is becoming, and think of the 
improvement some long, slim revers and 
some dainty turn-back cuffs will make. 

Take the belts or waistlines off the separate 
skirts that you own and visualize how some 
plain boyish form brassieres as camisole tops 
for these skirts will improve them, joined as 
shown on page 75 in either one of the ways 
suggested. Your blouses may be worn over 
these. By this method you may not be able 
to camouflage the size so readily but you can 
decrease the appearance of years by a consid- 
erable amount. Isn't it easy to see that on 
page 11 the silhouette on the right is years 
younger than that on the left? 

Try on all the dresses you have. Consider 
the tightness of the waist and the length of it. 
Look once again at the little figures in Chap- 
ter II that illustrate so well the laws of opti- 
cal illusion. Remember that if you are fat in 
the back your dress must have some kind of 
a neckline trimming or scarf collar, long and 
slim as on page 79. This makes a lovely 
addition to any dress. 

Camisole tops are advantageous and will allow a skirt to 

appear easy on the figure. 

For wrap-around skirts always allow fulness by panels or 

concealed plaits so that your skirt will not stretch unshapely 

when you sit. 



After you have had this little seance with 
yourself in the fittings, get out your dress 
form, wrap it with cotton, cloth or soft tissue 
paper until it is as big as you are, put a 
straight line lining over it that fits you easily 
and yet perfectly, then put your dresses on 
it. Loosen them at the waist, ease the sleeves 
if necessary and work to add a little youth, 
a little smartness, a little trimness by means 
of additional materials used in a wholly in- 
telligent way. 


Now that we have improved the clothes on 
hand, let us think about the purchase or mak- 
ing of new ones. 

If you make your own clothes you can 
work out the points for yourself as you adopt 
them. If you have a dressmaker, gain her 
cooperation. She may not understand the 
principles of ^'optical illusion," but she will 
be delighted to have suggestions that tend to 
slenderize, and I am sure she will work with 
you happily in carrying out the ideas and in- 
structions given. 

Before buying a new dress, suit, or wrap. 

A shirt waist dress, when all of one color, is often becoming, 
but the lines must all point downward and the waist line 

must be straight and easy. 
In remodeling, as you see, a new collar has been provided, 
the shoulder shortened, fulness cut ou^ at the shoulder, cuff 
narrowed to allow the sleeves to be lifted, the belt opened 

and lined to give ease and width. 
The skirt was shortened at the top and attached to a camisole 
brassiere. The fulness of the skirt was brought around and 
tucked to give desired length line. 



Study fashion pictures, dozens of them, and 
try to determine how your type should ex- 
press the ''new" in fashions. Choose what 
you like best in the new mode, cut out the 
pictures from the magazines and fashion pub- 
lications, go over them carefully again and 
again, and determine by study and elimination 
what dress and wrap will give the best result 
for the money spent. 

As an aid in obtaining other valuable point- 
ers, when you go into the shops to try on new 
dresses, observe the saleswoman very closely. 

She may not understand either what you 
mean by "optical illusion," but if you under- 
stand the principles you can get a great deal of 
help from her for she will let you know at 
once what is out of proportion in your figure, 
what there is about your shape that doesn't 
correspond to their models. She will invari- 
ably say, ''I am afraid your hips are too big for 
that dress," or 'We have only a few dresses 
that will fit you. You are too large in the 
bust for that," etc. Now, keep your disposi- 
tion and listen, then determine to go home 
and concentrate upon making less conspicu- 
ous the part that strikes her as being out of 
proportion. Remarkable improvements may 

Even in a surplice waist, length can be attained, as the 
illustration shows. Sleeve trimmings should be avoided that 
come even with the waist line. As you see, they give width 
where length is needed. Heavy stiff trimmings are difficult 
and must be very smart to be attractive. The softer, more 
slender the trimming, the better usually. Skirts should be 
designed to be free of flare. 


Current fashions are always whimsical but back of every 
dress or underneath it is a foundation that makes the skeleton 
of the dress. This you must observe in every pattern you 
use or dress you buy. The trimming you can vary to suit 
your needs in slenderness, but your foundation lines must be 

suitable if you use trimming. 
A variety of dresses are given, shown on the opposite page 
— the waist line dress, the narrow panel front, the wide panel 
front, the draped side line, and the tunic line. These represent 
good foundations and are in themselves slenderizing, providing 
you adhere to the code of long lines and simplicity in decora- 
tion and ornament. 



be made in this way and the ^'hardened*' sales- 
woman can truly be of service, for she, un- 
like your friends, is not inclined to flattery 
unless she has visions of a sale. 

Only careless persons can afford to buy 
clothes haphazardly. Even the slender wo- 
man thinks about them and plans about them. 
And just consider what a corps of helpers she 
has! A thousand hands to work to make 
modish clothes for the perfect 36, while only 
a dozen in proportion are working for us big 
folk! So it is easy to see why we must learn 
for ourselves what we can and cannot wear, 
what to emphasize and subdue. ^'We cannot 
eat our cake and have it too," is a line famil- 
iar to us all. We can't enjoy our pounds un- 
less we work to dress them so that their num- 
ber is not even surmised, let alone accurately 

One clever woman I know, capable of mak- 
ing her own frocks and coats as well, visits 
the exclusive shops, buys the most becoming, 
simple dress that she finds, often paying as 
much as $200 for it. This she copies in other 
shades and materials, developing three or 
four distinctly becoming dresses at far less 
cost than the original gown. By averaging 


up she has modestly priced frocks, all smart, 
in good taste, and wearable. 

I have always said that if I should ever go 
into the dress business, it would be to make 
slender dresses for big folks, and I would em- 
ploy all big women to sell them, because, as 
I said about our jolly big friend, the corset- 
iere, she has an understanding heart, knows 
how difficult it is to find dresses that have 
enough youth, enough value in line, and are 
sufficiently becoming to us who tip the scales 
to any great degree. And she would lend aid 
to the discouraged soul that needs to seek and 
try, experiment and insist until she finds that 
which is becoming. 


When the bust is full and the skirt length 
is short it is wise to use a panel effect in the 
front and let the belt or waistline finish ex- 
tend around from side to side across the back, 
thus leaving an unbroken front line. As a 
rule, the large figure looks best in a very long 
waistline, but this does not apply to such pro- 
portions as these. 

It is always wise for this type to beware 
of surplice front dresses. The mature figure, 



A panel front is always 
more desirable than a 
surplice for figures full 
in the bust. The seams 
provide a good fitting 
line and make darts 

flat in front, can wear a surplice very well 
and often it serves to relieve an undesirable 
plainness. Many fashion artists, when they 
draw full bust figures, take special pains 
to put in surplice fronts, but experience will 
teach that it is very difficult to duplicate in 
fabric the easy, smooth curve indicated by 
the pencil. 

Surplice fronts are as difficult for a very 
full bust as are plain backs on fat shoulders. 
If your back is full and round, remember to 
use tucks, bands, folds, plaits, or something 
that will definitely break the width. Panels 


also help, so don't be afraid to use them. Big 
backs broken in width are far more pleasing 
than broad expanses that know no termination. 
Remember the panel can befriend you, so 
keep it close but only when it can compliment 
you. If your back is fat and wide looking 
after you finish with this book, it is your own 
fault, for on page 87 you can see six simple 
ways of creating an optical illusion by lines 
that make the back less wide in appearance. 


If your arms are fat, don't wear long shoul- 
der dresses or kimono sleeves. They just 
aren't meant for you. From point of style, 
becomingness, service, they will fail you all 
the way. On the other hand, don't overdo 
narrow shoulders. Strike a happy medium. 

Upper arms that are larger than the arm- 
hole are quite common, and the mistake is 
often made of fitting the armhole to the sleeve 
rather than the sleeve to the armhole. Have 
the armhole comfortable and smooth and set 
a gusset in the sleeves or increase the seams 
in cutting from the armhole to the elbow. 

I know a woman who was wearing size 44 
dresses that hung on her unattractively and 

We can smile and aid our front, our back must always protect 
us by being at least inoflFensive and pleasing. 

Here are six ways to slenderize backs of dresses. Study them, 
find that which becomes you best. Once you have found your 
line, hold to it, but trim or effect it differently so that there 
is interest and variety. Observe Fashion illustrations carefully 
for backs with interesting length lines, and don't allow your- 
self to forget that they are just as important as the front in 
achieving slenderness. 

Remember that fulness at the hips is advisable, both as a 
protection to the dress and to insure more grace in sitting. 
A dress that draws up on the figure is always to be avoided. 



heavily. She said that she couldn't get her 
arms into the sleeves of size 40 or 42 models. 
A wise saleswoman ripped the sleeve seams, 
inserted gussets and moulded her beautifully 
into a tailored frock size 40. Since then she 
looks 20 pounds lighter, all because of this 
little adjustment. 

A bias sleeve is sometimes a distinct advan- 
tage for a stout arm. Take flannel or the 
hea\y crepes. A "tight as the skin" sleeve 
may be fitted that has '^give" enough for com- 
fort, yet not a quarter of an inch surplus. 
This t}*pe of sleeve is not suitable to flimsy 
materials, but very good for the firmer fab- 
rics and is sometimes economical for cutting, 
as often the sleeve pattern can be placed on a 
true bias grain to advantage. 

There are many details in sleeves to con- 
sider when you want to appear smaller than 
you actually are. Your success is due largely 
to your knowledge and its right application. 
So watch, look, and listen for every hint that 
will aid you in expressing perfection. It is 
attainable, and every achievement will stimu- 
late greater desire and effort. 

Years ago, in fitting a well-to-do woman, 
who was very "heavy set" in mind as well as in 



(Left) — A gusset at the under arm (left) is advisable when 
the arm is larger than the armhole. 

(Center) — Sleeves cut on the true bias, as| shown, are often 
advantageous when very close fitting sleeves are desired. 

(Right) — Beware of dresses that are too narrow across the 
chest. They always make the bust appear larger. 

body, I remember that she would insist upon 
drawing her arms up, crossing them over her 
ample bosom and saying that the armhole was 
too tight and that more and more must be 
trimmed out until her waist was unbalanced 
— narrower across the front than it should be, 
wholly deforming the dress. No dress can 
be beautiful if it is out of balance; it is con- 
trary to every rule of right design. 

I know one clever designer who makes for 
her larger customers a very firm net founda- 
tion waist with low square neck in front and 
back and close-fitting sleeves that extend al- 
most to the elbow. In this she puts the dress 

Measure and find out if it is your arras or your body you 
"need to treat" in slenderizing. Sometimes very large arms 
accompany medium bust measurements and vice versa. Know- 
ing this makes for a wiser use of line. 

If your arms are small in proportion to the bust, as in "A," 
use a normal shoulder line. 

If they are large in proportion to your bust, as in "B," cut the 
shoulder high. 

If arms and bust are large, use a length line on the sleeves, 
as in "C.'» 



A foundation lining of 
net that holds the sleeve 
is often advisable for 
sheer dresses. Elastic 
should hold it at the 
waist. The bottom of 
the sleeves and the neck 
may be bound or picoted. 

shields. This net foundation, especially the 
sleeve part, protects the dress, makes it last a 
third longer, and has the advantage of con- 
fining the arms slightly. 


Large shoulders are a problem because 
they can appear quite as full as the bust and 
by the roundness add years, w^hich, of course, 
nobody w^ants. A collar that is just right in 
depth, not too deep or too short in the back, 
is the first essential. For your individual 
type, you must make experiments. Take a 
piece of muslin or paper and cut out modish 
collars that you think would be becoming to 
you. Then try them on with two mirrors and 
view the back, front, and sides, examining 
well down past the waistline, because the col- 
lar line and belt line must always agree. 



Let your collar aid you. Beware of collars (like those at 
the left) that widen the shoulders or that cushion the back. 

Fashion often allows of back collar trimmings that are both 

slenderizing and becoming, such as those at the right. Hunt 

for them, then use them wisely. 

Turn under the collar edge, add to it, and 
after careful observation, do what your eye 
tells you is best. Never let your collar be so 
long as to look like a cape unless it is a cape; 
and don't let it be of a length or size to lie up 
on your back like a doily on a table. Attach 
it — have it there for a purpose, that of giving 
a correct and becoming line. 

If you are full in the back, don't wear 
shoulder capes or bertha collars. Never 
wear hea\^ collars or babyish lace or ribbon, 
and avoid collars of vivid color that contrast 
definitely in color with that of your dress. 


The first importance for a figure with most 
of the weight below the waist is the design 


and trimming of the sleeves. It is a weak- 
ness in which we must never indulge to plan 
for what should be graceful flowing sleeves, 
but which usually turn out to be a tragedy 
of adding pounds to pounds. In summer 
time and for evening wear, the sleeve may fit 
easily but without flare and reach to a point 
just above the elbow, provided there is no 
trimming feature or cuff. For all other types 
of dresses the long, close-fitting sleeve is wis- 
est. By adding to or taking from the length 
of sleeves, emphasis may be given to any part 
of the body from the hip line up, as the bot- 
tom of a sleeve is naturally a line which will 
attract the eye, so that if this is in the wrong 
position it is easy to imagine the result. 
Experiment with this feature, and convince 
yourself of the truth of the statement. 

Some big women have a full abdomen like 
a man, which causes their skirts to hike out 
at the bottom like ill-fitting maternity clothes. 
For this type, correct maternity line dresses 
are best. A bodice waist that is long in the 
front should be used. The skirt is attached 
to this quite low in front, then side panels are 
applied to give a correct balance and to widen 
the figure at the side. 


A variation of this figure has the full dia- 
phragm but a flat appearance just at the front 
of the hip bones. This type is recognized as 
difficult to fit, although it is easily possible to 
conceal both points satisfactorily. 

First, the full front figure must mask its 
size by long collars, panels, plaits, or some 
flat trimming, bringing these down so that, if 
possible, they may aid the hollow sides. Here 
again a thorough knowledge of the laws of 
optical illusion will stand you in good stead. 
If your skirt still pokes out at the hem in the 
center front, follow the suggestion given pre- 
viously and provide a corset that laces in 
front and that laces up so that the abdomen 
is held in, also one that is loose enough at the 
waist line to allow the flesh to rest up in it. 
A few suggestions are illustrated that may be 
applied in making a new dress or in correct- 
ing one that you have — or in perfecting a 
plain dress that you might purchase. 

Oftentimes, a full abdomen has as an ac- 
complice a sway back. For this, a panel in 
the back that hangs from the shoulder and 
that is caught at or below the belt line in the 
back is advantageous. A slightly low belt 
line is also desirable. 

When the bust is large and the hips are small, lines as shown 

at the left are becoming. A V-line in the vest may also be 

used if the bust is not too high. 

If the figure is large and evenly proportioned, a definite 

centered lengthwise line, as shown in the second design, will 

break the width. 

If the waist is short and the skirt long, length lines, as at 
the right, carried down on the skirt will balance better and 
detract from the short waist. The neck line of this dress allows 
for a small brooch or bar pin. 



Frequently, large figures — though this is 
also common to slender folk — find that the 
back skirt length measure is shorter than the 
front. Elderly folk, especially, find this 
trouble where the bust has shrunken or is 
small in proportion to the hips. For such 
types straight line dresses with a belt line 
across the back, or a narrow sash belt that ties 
at the side, are advisable. Long collars are 
also efficacious, and scarf collars particularly 


In order to counteract the roundness of the 
face, and provide some contrast for its full- 
ness, it is usually best to decide upon a neck- 
line emphasizing angles, not curves. Always 
have the dress cut well up at the back but 
dropping down with straight lines to a deep 
V or square. It is wise to have the neckline 
cut low and fill in the opening with sheer 
Georgette, batiste or lace in an inconspicuous 
color, such as delicate flesh or deep cream. 

The short stout figure with a short neck and 
medium small head is one type of stout that 
can wear a U neck or a slightly rounding neck 
line becomingly. Such a neck makes the 

For sway backs or figures that curve in definitely at the back 

waistline, a broken panel, as at left, is often advisable. It 

is especially desirable if the figure is tall or very large. 

An interesting lengthwise trimming is shown in the central 
figure. Such a line can be attained in contrasting or har- 
monizing fabric or with embroidery tucking or plain stitching, 
and is adaptable to tailored or sports clothes. Full front 
figures will find this line especially advantageous. 

Very wide or large figures will see merit in side panels that 

divide the front in three, as shown at the right. Such a design 

allows for a close fitting foundation dress and is especially 

suited to older women. 



head and neck appear larger and gives a good 


Think long and carefully about trimmings 
because a misuse o£ decoration can mar the 
lines of an otherwise becoming gown. 

Trimming, judiciously placed, will add to 
the appearance of smartness and may by its 
position break a wide plain surface into two 
or perhaps three spaces, adding with each 
line another point to our illusion of slender- 

It is essential that trimming be placed so as 
to emphasize length, but do not make the mis- 
take of applying it indiscriminately, but 
rather, to draw attention to a closing, or to 
finish the edge of a panel or for some similar 
useful purpose. 

Never use a large figured trimming or a 
bright colored banding. Plaids, big polka 
dots, pronounced stripes, heavily embroidered 
fabrics or "gew gaws" are not for the big 
woman. Strive for distinctive line which is, 
in itself, simple. Wear as good quality fab- 
ric as your purse can buy, but be modest about 


your size and any decoration you employ. 
Quantities of string beads are to be avoided, 
too, as should anything which will make the 
wearer conspicuous. 

Self fabrics, that is, the material of which 
the dress is made, is always good. It may be 
tucked or plaited and inserted between cut 
edges, applied as a band, or it may be used to 
form a cord, which in turn forms ornament 
of various sizes and shapes. 

Small patterned laces in the wider widths 
are appropriate too, and add richness and 
dignity to clothes intended for dress up occa- 
sions. Lace should never be shirred because, 
as I have already told you, the stout woman 
can never afford to be frivolous in her dress, 
and ruffled lace would certainly make her so. 

Plaited panels are good, but these should 
always be held close to the dress by the use 
of a French tuck from two to three inches 

The groups of vertical lines are always an 
effective means of increasing height while the 
long tab will help to keep the panel from 
flying out as one walks. 

Ribbon banding is effective both when 
stretched flat and when used to form sash ends 



If foundation linings are used, 
plan them as carefully as the 
dress itself. They must be easy 
yet fitted to perfection. They 
must also be designed especially 
for the dress so that they will 
support but not hinder the 
outer line at any point. 

or ties. Such finishes must be generous in 
length, otherwise they will add to, rather than 
detract from width. 


A designer in one of the big New York 
houses when asked as to her success in design- 
ing becoming dresses for large women gave 
these few valuable rules: 

**I never use sheer flimsy material. If I 


must use lace, I weight it so that it is as heavy 
as any fabric. 

*^I never use coarse stiff material — the softer 
and weightier the better. 

"I rarely use fabrics with luster or with 
big design. 

'^I never use pure colors. I use shades 
chiefly, very seldom a tint, unless it is a cream 
tint. I avoid all white for my large custom- 
ers. We see enough big men dressed up in 
white to know how much it increases size. 

'^I always make a foundation slip, smooth, 
sleek and close fitting. In this I sew the 
sleeves. My dress is made separate and hangs 
easier and straighter than it possibly could if 
it had the sleeves to hamper it. Then, too, 
the dress lasts longer, which is a distinct ad- 

^^I give special attention to my customer's 
hats, shoes and corsets. All must be right 
for her or my dress cannot be a success. 

''Often if I find a model that is definitely 
becoming, I vary it in different materials and 
colors, often making madam a half dozen 
beautiful gowns from the one block. Why 
not, if it is most becoming to her?" 



There are many skilful tricks in dress- 
making that are advantageous to the over- 
weight figure. For instance, the shoulder 
dart allows ease over the bust, makes a more 
comfortable shoulder, and permits of a close 
fitting sleeve. It also prevents sagging of the 
dress at the underarm, giving a neat good fit- 
ting effect. Don't avoid or ^^detest" darts; 
learn to use them so that you get the greatest 
possible advantage from them. Watch an 
adept dressmaker smooth the material around 
and slip out the dart in a line over the bust 
that fits smoothly and easily. Only carelessly 
fitted and stitched darts are unattractive. 


The crosswise armhole dart, too, has its ad- 
vantages but is not good for a broad shoul- 
dered or short figure as it widens the shoulder 


Darts are necessary for round figures, especially the under-arm 
dart as shown at the right center above. They are often 
advantageous for flat figures, as at the left. They can, when 
v(risely used, add much to the attractiveness of a garment. 
Don't use them, however, unless for a specific purpose and 
slant them so that they give length rather than breadth. 

Diagonal or bias lines such as shown at the right often are 
employed for smart effect. They can slenderize, are distinc- 
tive and "youthful, especially if subdued stripes or twilled fab- 
ric is used. 

Rounding shoulders often need a few gathers at the neck line 

in the back, as shown in the lower figure. Such gathers eased 

in insure a better fitting, more comfortable collar line. 



and cuts the height, unless it is wisely made 
on a bias grain to slant down so that a cross- 
wise line is avoided. 

The underarm dart is often used with a 
shoulder dart, especially for very full busts. 
This helps to shape the material over the bust 
easily and to give a smooth, straight underarm 
seam. Sometimes a dart is used on the back 
seam as well as the front in cases where the 
back is fat and round. In any event, fit your 
dress so that the underarm seam does not 
drag, and so that the crosswise grain of the 
material is parallel with the belt line. 

The hip dart helps to fit the skirt by pro- 
viding a means of lifting the fabric at the 
sides. If the hips are straight and not curv- 
ing to any extent, only a slight dart, if any, is 
necessary. But for large figures a hip dart 
is desirable, especially for one-piece dresses. 
It should be brought up so that the skirt hangs 
evenly all the way at the bottom. Arrange 
the dart so that it comes directly over the hip 
or under the narrow belt or waist-line trim- 
ming. Remember that the larger the hip, 
the longer the dart, and the greater the neces- 
sity for accurate fitting. 

Plaits rightly employed can give length and are often quite 

necessary in Fashion's catalog. But make them a part of the 

dress, surround them, make them give length where length 

is needed. 

For instance, in A you find threei forms of decoration, each 

with a purpose. The plaits for length, the embroidery for 

interest, the tie for color. 

In B plaits for length, buttons for finish, necklace for interest. 

In C the tucks must suffice for length, trimming and interest. 
Often embroidery is desired and it can serve to give length if 
righly used. For instance D, a simple dress, is made pleas- 
ing with embroidery that helps rather than hinders. 

Draped skirts, as in E, need not be ,taboo entirely, if the 

draping is used for line emphasis and is soft enough to cling 

rather than extend. 

Large figures often find a dress broken in line advantageous, 

as in F. If the bust is large and hips small, the skirt should 

be favored with the trimming. The upper waist line should 

be omitted if the figure is in the least short 



If the back is fat and rounding and the 
neck fairly small, it is advisable, in order to 
hold the dress well up on the shoulders, to 
run a gathering thread across the back neck 
line. The fullness thus retained may be 
eased in and shrunken out, if wool is used, so 
that no gathers are visible but a comfortable 
neck is secured. Such fullness is not at all 
objectionable in silk or cotton fabrics. 

In our quest for becoming clothes, we are 
fascinated by the long underarm line and feel 
sure that if we could evidence such a con- 
structive detail, we could look 20 pounds 
lighter right away. 

To achieve this, consider again what I have 
said about th« corset, its size and fit. Be 
sure that your corset has enough supporters to 
hold it securelv down. A corset that "rides 
up" or a brassiere that is too short will defi- 
nitely prevent a long, easy underarm. 

Be sure when your dresses are fitted that 
the cross-wise grain of the cloth is parallel 
with the waist line. Be sure that your waist- 


line trim or belt is placed as low as your dress 
length will allow — not low enough to make 
you look top heavy, but low enough for your 
own height, size and type. To find what this 
is, parade up and down in front of your mir- 
ror with belts, bands, and sashes strung around 
your waist, one at a time, of course, until you 
know which one is placed best for you. Don't 
be faddish, don't be extreme, but be modish. 
There is a difference. Work for becoming- 
ness so that the line you finally decide upon 
will surely be right. 


Cutting the center front on the bias may 
give a ^'silent" or a pronounced line, depend- 
ing on whether plain or striped material is 
used. It takes a third more material to cut 
a dress on the bias, but since it is possible to 
develop a very smart dress this way it is often 
worth considering. It should be worn only 
by the type that can wear extreme things well, 
however, because a dress cut on the bias is in 
no wise conservative. 

To allow fullness in walking, two plaits 
may be placed in the skirt at the left side 

When styles call for pleats, pleats may be used, but not in 

widening flares as shown above, rather in slenderizing length 

lines as shown on the opposite page. 


Hats and shoes In these two pictures also illustrate incorrect 
and correct choice. The wide hat and prominent straps oppo- 
site emphasize width and weight; the neat hat and cross-strap 
slippers above help to slenderize. 



seam, one directly over the other, the right 
side of the skirt being finished plain. This 
does not interfere with the slim line effect, yet 
gives the desired freedom. Plaitings or pan- 
els of self color that are 5 inches or less in 
width soften the line of a dress and, if effec- 
tively used, can improve the garment both in 
line and attractiveness, especially for the fig- 
ure that is large above the waist. An effec- 
tive use of skirt plaiting can aid greatly in 
balancing the proportion. 

If the waist measure is large, keep the skirt 
as straight and narrow as fashion will allow, 
and watch your sleeves to fit them close and 
plain. Short, full sleeves and a full skirt 
must have a small, short waist line to be effec- 
tive; they are totally "out of the picture" 
where the waist and hips are large. 

Plaits aid in line and are youthful, but if 
fashion decrees straight skirts we must stitch 
or press them down straight and slim, for 
flared-out plaits are treacherous for us who 
would be slender. For the same reason, we 
must avoid panels that flirt out as we walk. 

A corded girdle, sash, or string sash that is 
long and limp is becoming. 

Tunics, if not too full, and if not definitely 


trimmed at the bottom edge, are advantageous. 
They slenderize by making it possible to 
draw the skirt in at the bottom, thus giving 
an appearance of height. This, of course, is 
lost if the tunic or the lower skirt is too full. 
Large figures should always have tunics and 
foundations of the same color and material 
so as not to break the height. 



First of all, buy your clothes with deliber- 
ation so that they will look as though they 
belonged to you, not as though they were 
bought in a hurry. Deliberate buying is the 
economical way. Emergency buying in 
clothes is like food from the delicatessen — 
it's a ^'make shift" and an expensive one. 

Buy for suitability, for smartness, and think 
of all the uses you can make of a garment be- 
fore you buy. If it's a dress, what wrap or 
hat will you wear with it? Does it mean new 
shoes, new hat, and gloves? If so, then con- 
sider the advisability of purchasing another 
style which would look well with the acces- 
sories you have and are wearing with another 
costume. Buy few clothes if you must, but 
buy the best quality fabrics your purse will 
allow. And buy carefully. Being well- 
dressed is not so much a matter of money as 
it is information, for the well-dressed woman 
gives evidence of discriminate deliberation, 
of knowledge applied to selection, and of a 


wise choice of accessories as well as essen- 
tials. So take heed and take your time about 
every purchase so that everything harmonizes 
perfectly with what you have and so that 
every article, from shoes to hat, has its part 
in aiding slenderness rather than in empha- 
sizing stoutness. 


Acquaint yourself with materials, their 
wearing qualities, their clinging proclivities, 
and their color quality. By this latter, I 
mean their ability to ^'take the dye" and be 
soft and rich in their shades, because certain 
shades we must wear, and we don't want to 
have them dull and lifeless, like brownish 
black or grayish drab. We want them to be 
deep and soft like those of beautiful old fab- 
rics that have been ripened to an inimitable 
softness by age. 

The most becoming colors for us come in 
good fabrics, so for the average woman there 
must be economy in the number of dresses 
rather than in their quality. A garment made 
in good style and of good material is more of 
a credit to you when half worn out than a 
cheap new garment could possibly be. 


It is necessary to remember, too, that mate- 
rials with a glossy, brilliant surface or finish, 
no matter what the color of the fabric may be, 
are difficult to wear and are not generally 
becoming, because the sheen and, in some in- 
stances, the stiffness tend to make the figure 
appear larger. Materials of soft finish or 
dull colors, on the other hand, will make the 
figure appear smaller and will attract less 

Every fat woman loves pastry and taffeta. 
We know that before we start. Pastry you 
can eat if you study hard to dress correctly, 
but taffeta you cannot wear because it sticks 
out where it shouldn't and does not cling as 
it should. The surest way to have you avoid 
it is for me to tell you that it adds 20 pounds, 
and it truly does. The luster of satin elimi- 
nates it from our list while the conspicuous- 
ness of large figured fabrics makes them 
equally inappropriate. When you see lengths 
of large figured fabrics in the shops, you may 
be tempted, but do not buy. They will thwart 
your whole purpose of putting into the clothes 
you wear the lines that make for slenderness 
and grace. 

These two pictures illustrate improper and proper choice of 

fabrics for a stout figure. Above, the large-figured material 

adds size, the fur trim shortens, the round beads shorten the 

neck. All conspire to emphasize weight. 


Here a small all-over pattern minimizes size, the plaits and 

tassels lengthen, the necklace adds a slenderizing touch. The 

appearance as a whole is graceful and youthful. 




Shun bargains of miscellaneous materials. 
Unless you are offered a type of material that 
will slenderize, don't buy it. And never stint 
your dresses by using remnants. Your dresses 
should never have an extra inch visible but 
likewise they should never in the least appear 
as though they were stinted in cutting. And 
that means that you must always have plenty 
of hems and facings and bias sleeves or bands 
if you want them. Stingy, scrimpy hems on 
big folks' skirts are a ^'give away." Always 
buy enough material for at least a 3>^-inch 
hem, and more if fashion allows. 

It is pitiable to see a big man humiliated 
and equally so to see a large woman in cheap 
flimsy fabric. Save up your pennies and 
look out for remnants if you must, but don't 
buy cheap materials. The better materials, 
too, are an incentive for more careful plan- 
ning, and as a result you have a more like- 
able, wearable dress. 


What can you wear to create the illusion of 
slenderness? In woolens, everything except 


firm hard finished weaves, or those in big or 
definite designs or colors. If silk is to be 
purchased, consider the closely woven heavy 
ones. They may cost a little more, yes, but 
they wear longer, and when you give thought 
and time to making a perfect dress you are 
happy to have it last as long as it will. Some 
big women delight in chiffon and Georgette 
and lace dresses, but these fabrics must not be 
used unless a substantial foundation dress is 
worn under them. 

No one needs to use so much care about the 
foundation of her dress as a stout woman. It 
must be wholly non-transparent. It must fit 
perfectly, and any dress of lace or sheer mate- 
rial fitted over it must follow the slip silhou- 
ette easily but perfectly. Some designers use 
two and three thicknesses as though they were 
one. They say this softens the line, weights 
the fabric, and proves altogether advantage- 
ous where grace and line are desired. 

Materials like faille or bengaline, with a 
definite crossw^ise grain, are smart and becom- 
ing and are best when cut and made cross- 
wise. They hang more limply and, there- 
fore, are more graceful and entirely desirable 
for slenderizing. 


Often the mistake is made of choosing a 
material with wide stripes, due to the preva- 
lent belief that stripes tend to make a person 
look slender. This is generally untrue. The 
stout woman can wear striped material, but 
the stripes, as a rule, must be fine and with- 
out definite color or line when viewed from 
a short distance. In other words, stripes 
should be felt, not seen, except at very close 
range. Stout women, and, in fact, most 
women look better in materials of plain or 
indistinct design in harmonizing colors than 
in those of bold design and of decided color 

The heavy silks, striped by means of the 
weave, and in self color, are the best for tail- 
ored dresses. The heavy crepe weaves are 
more appropriate for draped dresses planned 
for occasional wear. And the best quality 
means the best wear, appearance and general 
satisfaction. It is better to have one very 
good, smart dress and take care of it than two 
cheap dresses that you are never quite satis- 
fied with. 

In selecting material for skirts, stout wom- 
en should choose either plain fabric or fab- 
ric with a narrow or indistinct stripe or small 


figure and of a texture that is as soft and pli- 
able as Dame Fashion permits. 

For summer wear, good quality voiles are 
better than linens, and the crepe de Chines 
are better than the tub silks, because they 
cling, and that, after all is a vital consider- 
ation. Swiss, organdie, and ratine, like taf- 
feta, are too stiff or bulgy to give slenderness, 
so these fabrics must be admired always from 
a safe distance. Allover lace is permissible 
if of small design and heavy enough to hang 
rather than bulge. 

For quick and easy reference I have made 
a complete list of fabrics that are certain to 
create a line of slenderness — materials that 
you can safely wear with the assurance that 
if properly used they will do much toward 
giving you the slender, fashionable lines for 
which you are striving. When all is said and 
done there is really quite a varied range of 
fabrics for you after all. 


Wool for Dresses 
Charmeen (if not too Poiret Twill 

lustrous) Poplin 

Challis Serge 

Covert Cloth Wool crepe 

Flannel Wool velour (light weight) 


Wool for Coats 
Bolivia Also fabrics listed for 

Morvilla dresses which are suitable 

Wool Velour (heavy) for light weight wraps 

Bengaline, Poplin or Faille Crepe Roshanara (plain 
Canton crepe and self-striped) 

Canton satin (dull side) Faille 
Crepe de Chine (heavy) Georgette (heavy) 
Crepe Romaine 

Wash Goods 

Batiste Voile 

Crepe Handkerchief and plain 
Gingham (soft quality) non-crushable linen, pro- 
Poplin vided the latter is not stiff 


Never hesitate about navy blue In fine wool 
or heavy silk. When beautifully made, 
either of these may be irresistibly youthful, 
and if care is used in selecting rightly bal- 
anced designs, such dresses can be so interest- 
ingly varied as never to be monotonous. For 
instance, a change of collars is allowable. 
One day smart turn cuffs may be worn, and 
the next day omitted, all giving variety with- 
out deviating from the path of good taste and 
slender emphasis. And navy blue is always 
smart, no matter what the prevailing fashion 
may be. 


Watch for values. Know the kind of wool 
you want; avoid stiff satins and taffetas. 
Remember when buying or planning dresses 
that wools that fuzz up and satins that have 
a stiffness back of their shininess, taffetas that 
stick out, and voiles and Georgettes that are 
oversheer are to be avoided. Fortunately, 
the better grades of these fabrics eliminate 
these tendencies by the very quality of the 
fabric, and to say that shiny satin is not pos- 
sible for the large woman is unnecessary, al- 
though there are some qualities of satins soft 
enough to be wearable, provided the sheen is 
not to odecided. But the heavy crepes are 
always more desirable because of their weight 
and lack of luster. 


If I could have but one dress, I should choose 
soft, brown Canton crepe with a satin side to 
use as trimming. If I could have just two 
dresses, one would be blue cloth and the other 
brown crepe because both are becoming. I 
say they are becoming despite the fact that a 
prominent color specialist says that black, 
blue, and brown are heavy colors and not the 
best for large figures. But the use of such a 


simple accessory as a scarf of lace or chiflFon 
can lift out of the ordinary a brown crepe 
dress and can in the quality of its beautiful, 
smart lines, prove doubly effective. And fine 
white linen or pique collars and cuffs can do 
wonders to a simple, correct-fitting one-piece 
dress of blue cloth. 

I know of a certain manufacturer of a very 
excellent line of dresses for stouts. Expen- 
sive? Certainly, but worth the price, for 
following the rules of optical illusion is prac- 
tically a religion with him. He uses only 
navy blue — the darkest navy — in heavy faille, 
crepe silks, Poiret twill, and charmeen. Some 
are trimmed in white linen or pique, a few 
with net, but the majority are untrimmed, 
tailored, and pressed ''to a turn," even when 
made of silk. Dresses of this type are of a 
quality which will permit of one remodeling 
at least, so that the maximum of wear may be 
had from them. When this is possible the 
material can be really ''worn out" because it 
was conservative in the first place and did not 
lose its style value too rapidly. 

The feeling of satisfaction you get from 
such a costume, even when you discard the 
outfit, is much to be preferred to an attempt 


to wring the last drop of usefulness from your 
clothes by wearing them in the home. Never 
do this. Rip up, renovate, and make over, 
but don't be shabby at home. There is too 
much to lose if you do. The stout woman 
just must get into the habit of looking smart 
at all times. Once acquired, it is a habit that 
brings with it a sense of pride, pleasure, and 
self-reliance very much worth cultivating. 


In Chapter II we found that certain uses 
of lines cause objects to appear larger or 
smaller than they really are. This same prin- 
ciple of optical illusion applies to colors. 
Whether you realize it or not, the color of 
an object always seems to affect its size. 

In general, dark colors make objects appear 
to be smaller; light colors make them seem 
larger. This is often demonstrated by a 
woman with large feet. If she dresses those 
feet in a pair of white shoes they appear to 
be much larger than they really are, whereas 
shod in a pair of well-made dull black or 
dark brown pumps or oxfords, they appear 
much smaller than they really are. 

Take equal amounts of black crepe and yel- 
low satin as examples. The black recedes, 
while the yellow stands out, fills the eye more 
completely, and as a result seems larger. 

Look at blue cornflowers and orange pop- 
pies in a field. It takes twice as many of the 
blue flowers to attract your attention as it does 



of the orange, because the latter make a 
more definite impression on the eye. 

If you intend to take your rightful place 
among well-dressed women you must watch 
carefully the color of your dress and hold, in 
the main, to the quiet colors or shades, such 
as seal brown, midnight blue, bottle green, 
dull black, blackberry purple, the grays, and 
the deep tans. These make outline less defi- 
nite, help your observers to lose sight of bulk 
and thereby make your size inconspicuous. 
Besides, they are always smarter than the 
more conspicuous colors. And this isnH such 
a sacrifice, after all, when you realize how 
few women there are who are vivacious, alert, 
agile enough or clear enough of skin to com- 
pete with active color. Bright colors are 
suitable chiefly to the great outdoors, for gala 
decoration, or for trimming — and the latter 
you may use if you do it wisely and discreetly. 


King's blue and scarlet, and any colors of 
their quality, must be ^'ofif your list'' com- 
pletely, for they definitely create the illusion 
of huge bulk. Refuse acquaintance with 
them right now and whatever you do, don't 


yield to their entreaties. You have heard, no 
doubt, the famous story about the lecturer, 
who, when asked by a big woman dressed in 
red what color she should wear, said, "Gray, 
Madam, gray. Nature makes humming birds 
red and elephants gray. Follow Nature, 

Don't force people to see you bigger than 
you are by wearing gaudy designs or colors. 

Brilliant, hard, cold colors, or what might 
be fittingly termed unrelenting or non-retiring 
colors should be avoided once a woman is past 
her first youth ; in fact, not every young woman 
or young girl can afford to wear such tones, 
especially when she is a bit too stout, for the 
purer the color the more definite it is to the eye 
and, therefore, the larger it makes the wearer 
seem. Many of the colors that are launched 
forth each season as the latest thing are so 
strong that they add a third to one's size and 
rob the wearer of all the natural color of skin, 
hair, and eyes, making even a young, vigor- 
ous girl appear devoid of animation and 
charm. The use of such colors even as trim- 
ming is a mistake commonly made by women 
lacking in the fresh, natural color of skin, 
hair, and eyes. 



It is well to consider that gray eyes reflect 
blue or green, and sometimes brown tints, 
and that the right shade of blue — usually old 
blue — will emphasize the color and brilliancy 
of blue eyes. It is said that a girl with hazel 
eyes and chestnut hair can wear any color 
becomingly. Yet one must realize that some 
colors would naturally be much more em- 
phatic or subduing than others; therefore, 
more becoming or less complimentary. The 
best rule is to keep to one family of color 
shades, as brown, blue, gray, or black. You 
will find this scheme more becoming and 
more economical. Of course, if you wish, 
you may choose to use one or two shades 
lighter of the same color shade, as dark brown 
and tan, or perhaps the pleasing combination 
of midnight blue and gray. Gray or tan is 
good with black; white with black only in the 
very smallest quantity and then discreetly 

But gray, used for an entire costume, is 
good only for the very young or the old. 
Once the hair is white, gray is much better 
than black for it will not emphasize face 


lines ; but a woman of forty, big or little, un- 
less she has white hair and clear skin should 
choose navy blue or black in preference to 
gray. However, we need not wear either 

Many designers insist that "color tone" 
evidenced somewhere is essential for every 
well dressed woman, maintaining that if the 
individual does not have it herself it must be 
provided by means of her dress or complex- 
ion, assuming, of course, that it will always 
be discreetly and smartly done. If the hair 
or eyes are colorless, avoid brown and wear 
blue, and use definite color — a bit of braid, 
an ornamental buckle, a strap on a purse, a 
hat trimming — something that has a smart 
color note. 

We look smallest in dull black, but we can 
look almost as slender in black that has 
brightness either in the fabric or the dye, and 
at the same time not look so old as with the 
dull black. For example, observe the next 
dear elderly lady you see in dull black. See 
how it makes every wrinkle show and gives 
her a shriveled, meek appearance that is in 
every way depressing. We must look young, 
as well as slender, and, of course, fashionable 


too, SO we must keep away from any colors 
that will hamper us. 


It has always seemed to me that we women 
who have the opportunity of making either a 
pleasing, indifferent, or offending picture of 
ourselves in our dress should realize our op- 
portunity, sense fully that we are in compe- 
tition with real artists and work to achieve a 
degree of perfection that at least would be 
pleasing to our very own selves and that could 
not offend any who might see us. 

Those valuable laws of optical illusion 
teach us always to select colors that have a 
tendency to recede, that is, those that are in- 
definite and difficult to classify. For instance, 
the moment rose is added to gray, or yellow 
to tan, it takes on light and tends to intensify 
size rather than to reduce it, while we can add 
white to gray, or brown to tan with the oppo- 
site result. So often we see someone who has 
achieved a beautiful color plan, change it to 
satisfy her own desire for variety and in the 
changing lose all that she has worked to gain. 
And so I insist that once you find the color or 
combination of colors that is becoming, that is 


flattering, as to size and complexion, hair and 
eyes, hold to it as a valued possession and 
have your color variety in other things rather 
than your dress. 

I have not yet considered white, or rather 
cream, or old blue, or pastel green in discuss- 
ing shades. These many of us can wear. 
The wearing of white is a luxurious habit 
once acquired. The charm of immaculate- 
ness may balance in some minds its tendency 
to increase size, but if you wish to look as 
small as possible, avoid it. Of old blue this 
is not true. It can be worn by old and young, 
is becoming generally, and is almost as effec- 
tive as gray in its size reducing propensities. 
It blends well and is soft enough not to be 
distinguished at long range, always a point of 
consideration when we are working to look 
slender. However, neither gray nor old blue 
must be worn if the skin is definitely sallow. 
Pastel green that has a gray, rather than a 
yellow cast is often becoming, especially for 
summer wear, for in addition to its advan- 
tages regarding size, it is cool looking. 

All rules may be individually varied and 
should be for distinctive effects, so to know 
the rule of color is to respect it and adeptly 







Flesh and peach 
may be worn. 


Rose permissible 
as trimming. 




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<0 I- . - U ^ V. 



V • 




Dull pink and 
apricot tones 

Flesh and old 
rose very good. 



c o 


o *^ 



Pink lavender in 
sheer fabric or 
dahlia in small 
quantities fair. 




1 (U 


4) 3 
3 rt 



& . 






Dark green excel- 
lent. Blue-green 
for blue eyes and 
bronze-green for 
brown eyes. 

Very good in dark 
tones. Bronze - 
green excellent 
with brown eyes. 

J. g 









O Mbo 



^ o o 

Navy blue and 
green-blues very 


Good in dark and 
medium tones. 
Delft blue good 
for blue eyes. 

Dull blue, very 
good; brighter 
blues good for 

Most browns ex- 
cellent for 

All pure browns 
that blend with 
hair and eyes 

Mahogany and 
deepest browns 


Do not use ex- 
cept with bright 
color for trim- 








Pale Brunette 
Medium, dark brown 
or black hair; brown, 
gray, or dark blue 
eyes; pale skin. 

Colorful Brunette 
Medium brown or dark 
hair; blue, brown, or 
gray eyes; medium 
skin, high color. 

Auburn Brunette 
Brown hair, tinged 
with red; brown, 
blue or gray eyes; 
medium skin. 

Olive Brunette 
Dark brown or black 
hair; brown or black 
eyes; olive skin, 
some color. 

Gray and Gray 
Gray hair;brown,gray, 
or blue eyes; me- 
dium skin. 

Brown and Gray 
Grayish, brown hair; 
brown, blue, or gray 
eyes; medium skin. 



apply it to express yourself beautifully and 
harmoniously. Play with colors as you 
would with a fan. Remember that usually 
every w^oman can look better than she does. 
It is the age of good looking women and the 
right shade or tone of color has a very great 
deal to do with the right emphasis of indi- 
vidual attractiveness. 

Color has so much to do with the final ap- 
pearance of any costume, that you must find 
your particular color pace. Remember that 
if you are stout you cannot stray from the less 
colorful byways to the brilliant main road 
trodden by your slim sisters. Never lose 
sight of the fact that true artistry may be 
expressed in the subtle shades to 'a much 
greater degree than by the use of brilliant 
colors. As civilization advances, it is grad- 
ually drawing away from pure color. You 
will find that practically all of the fabrics 
shown in the shops are variations of the 
foundation or primary colors. Why not carry 
this to its farthest point, emphasizing your 
appreciation of the subtlety of the "between" 
shades which can do so much toward making 
you look smart and slender? 

In the selection of shades for becomingness, 


your size is the first consideration; your skin 
the second. Consider carefully both the 
color and the texture of your skin, and work 
to have the shades of your dresses enhance, 
harmonize, or subdue, according to the need 
or opportunity. The color of your hair and 
eyes comes third in color consideration, while 
your age comes fourth. 

In making use of the table I have given 
you, locate your type in the first column. If 
you are a blonde read descriptions of all the 
blonde types and decide to which you belong. 
If you are a brunette, classify yourself under 
this heading. Do not feel hampered by the 
colors allowable for your particular type, be- 
cause it very often happens that a variation of 
a shade you like will make it becoming to you 
even though it would be unsuited to another 
individual whose description would corre- 
pond with yours. 


Large figures require subdued colors. 

The dominant color in your costume must 
harmonize with the color and the texture of 
your skin. 

A contrasting or emphasizing color may 


be used to enhance the coloring of your eyes 
and hair. 

Because it is not entirely necessary or desir- 
able to exclude the lighter, brighter shades 
from the wardrobe, a few of these have been 
listed in the accompanying table. As a gen- 
eral thing, you will look best in dark colors; 
but in the warm weather, and for home wear, 
light colors are permissible and suitable, too. 
If the type requires the use of such shades in 
the evening, gowns made from them may be 
worn becomingly, provided they are prop- 
erly chosen as to material, design, and trim- 

With the advent of each season's new col- 
ors, search carefully for your colors, the ones 
that you know are becoming, bearing in mind 
all the while that tones, hues, or tints (light 
colors) emphasize, and that shades (dark 
colors) alone subdue, and then remember that 
both fabric and design definitely afifect the 
color; so decide on all three simultaneously 
and thereby be wholly safe. 

The extent of your attractiveness rests with 
you and don't forget ever how very much a 
right color can help you. Haunt the shops 
for the beautiful, the flattering, the becoming 


thing. Don't be satisfied to buy green, blue, 
or gray simply because it's the season's color 
— find the tone or shade of that color that is 
lovely for you — then you can be fashionably 
dressed and becomingly so. 


There is a distinct difference between the 
appropriate clothes for the young stout girl 
and those for the elderly stout woman. The 
first must work to emphasize trim smartness; 
the second simplicity and becomingness. Not 
so much difference in the two, you will say, 
but think carefully about it and you will real- 
ize that there is a difference. The whole idea 
of dress is different at 20, let us say, than it is 
at SO. If you are 20, you may wear 20-year 
clothes, but if you are 50, you may wear 40- 
year clothes. And you can truly look 40 if 
you learn to blend the lines suited to youth 
and maturity and to do it skilfully. 


Work to achieve one of two types — tailored 
smartness or supple dignity. Neither need 
emphasize age and both can reduce the ap- 
pearance of size. If you are best as a tail- 
ored girl, be one morning and evening. 
Remember that the soft wools, charmeen and 



poiret, are best, and often smart in stripe 
effect. One-piece wool frocks are a boon to 
slenderness and every season brings smart, 
simple straight lines especially adaptable to 
soft, clinging materials. Watch the length of 
your suit coat if you are young. Long Eton 
effects are often good, and don't forget the 
beauty and long line possibilities in the very 
long suit coat. 

Tend a little to the vampish black in the 
evenings, if you v^ish, but tailor the lines so 
that they are severely smart. Of course, if 
you are 18 you may not want to use black and 
look vampish, but you can, as far as size goes, 
wear cream, sky or old blue, or watery green 
effectively. In fact, any of these colors are 
wearable if you choose supple fabrics and 
wear them unadorned. If you choose boat 
necks, be sure to wear a scarf or necklace to 
break the line. 

But here we are going to talk about the 
girl who is young, good looking, and stout. 
You needn't say that you are not good look- 
ing. It's your own fault if you aren't, that's 
certain. Read the women's magazines. 
Every month they carry excellent articles on 
the care of the face, hands, hair and body, and 

Straight lines can be artistically used in lingerie or negligee, 

and such garments need not be monotonous or unattractive. 

Beautiful simplicity or distinctive smartness should be your 

aim with such garments. 

At the left is a night dress with pleasing length lines. 

Ribbon trimmings or contrasting bands are desirable in finish- 
ing dressing gowns, such as shown in the center above, espe- 
cially if the color harmonizes with the predominating color of 
the fabric. 

Sofe crepe, as at the right, in subdued color, is becoming and 

inexpensive. Effective length line trimmings can be added by 

decorative stitches or bindings. 



if you are delightfully clean and follow even 
the simplest rules, you can be good to look at 
even if you weigh more than you would like 

Fortunately, the flesh on a young stout girl 
is usually evenly distributed, thus making the 
chief consideration in dress one of choosing 
line and fabric that are becoming to youth. It 
is very easy for a young stout to be well cor- 
seted and that is an important essential, for 
correct corseting will go a long way toward 
avoiding additional fat, 


If you are young, don't be indifferent about 
any phase of your dress, and don't ever show 
any humiliation because of it. Women who 
are continually conscious of their size seem 
to look fatter than those who plan to make 
the least of it and to enjoy it. Emerson says, 
*'Never go to a man to tell him that you can't 
pay a debt when you haven't any money. 
Your whole attitude will cause him to lose 
confidence in you." 

So it is with stout women. If you your- 
self tell about it, pity yourself, evidence it by 
word as well as by your appearance, then you 


deserve to be classed as "that fat Brown girl" 
instead of "the good-looking Brown girl." 

If you prefer short dresses, and short skirts 
are the vogue, be extremely careful about 
your feet. Have them perfectly shod. Wear 
hose of a neutral or dress-matching shade so 
that the height will not be broken. Severe 
lines for modish, clear-skinned girls with neat 
coiffures are often very effective and they 
have the additional advantage of youthful- 
ness which older women must strive for. 

Try to learn about your dress from study 
and observation rather than from experience. 
The latter is discouraging and expensive. 
Visit shops that specialize in tailored things. 
Study fashion pictures for line, not color or 
trimming, for you know you can vary these to 
suit your special slenderizing emphasis. Ice 
cream, like candy, is tempting to young folks, 
as are bright colors and new fads. So eat 
sparingly, but of the best, choose the choicest 
of the fads, the smartest of the new colors. 
Invariably they will be in good taste and 
created of a color and material or design that 
you can with discretion adopt. 

Youthfulness is entirely possible with slenderizing lines. These 

illustrations, for instance, are simple to the extreme, yet allow 

of individuality and becomingness. The plaited frill held in 

place by a definite length band is allowable. 

The Tuxedo panels of the black dress are designed as part of 

the collar, in scarf effect, thus giving a youthful line rather 

than a heavy, collar trim and one that can be worn by all but 

full bust figures. 




Don't be tempted to buy a bright colored 
cheviot suit when a navy charmeen or a smart 
black and white stripe would be much more 
distinctive and slenderizing. 

Don't let any one make you look old. 
Avoid bulk in your clothes, such as heavy 
skirts, bulging ornaments, ruffles, frills and 
flounces. Learn to delight in slenderizing. 
Enjoy it. It can become as much a hobby 
as can art in pictures or music. Remember 
you have the responsibility of your own love- 
liness. If you are not pleasing to see morn- 
ing, noon and night, you can blame nary a 
soul but yourself. Wholesomeness is beauti- 
ful anywhere, any time, so work to achieve 
perfection by way of simplicity. Your re- 
sponsibility will be less and the result more 

Wear trim, one-piece dresses with narrow 
belts and long, smart collars. Work yourself 
into the new fads wisely. Enjoy the new in 
dress but do it discreetly so that it blends per- 
fectly with size, type and inclinations. 

Don't wear feathers; they are old and '^fill- 
ing." Don't over dress. Remember the 

Youthfulness demands simplicity. Short coats overcome the 

appearance of heaviness over the hips and are at the same 

time youthful. In the suit above the long revers, the vertical 

pockets, the broken cuflE line, and the lap-front skirt, all aid in 

the "magic" of slenderness. 

Simplicity and smartness in evening frocks is as essential as 
those for day-time wear 

The first dress is Georgette with wee pin tucks, the bodice of 

brocade, thus giving length in line and concealed brilliancy 

desirable for evening wear. 

At the right is metallic cloth in inconspicuous design, aided in 

line by the long velvet ribbon trim. The long, link necklace 

also gives length and serves to break the line of the square 

neck which might otherwise be unbecoming. 



fewer clothes the better — just enough to be 
respectable! Never bundle yourself up in 
clothes — wear them for comfort, beauty, and 

Put a double front in your slips and don't 
wear petticoats. They pull you in at the 
wrong place. Let your slip also suffice for a 
corset cover. Use perspiration preventatives 
rather than dress shields, and don't put linings 
in your dresses. Eliminate even seams that 
are bulky. 

Avoid buttons. They are allowable for 
little folks and older folks, but are too matter 
of fact for smart simplicity. If you wear 
knickers be sure that they fit correctly; don't 
let them extend too high at the waist or in 
wide-cuff effect below the knee. A band just 
below the knee is less heavy looking. 


Watch out if you wear sweaters. A foot- 
ball type, never! Get soft, trim coat sweaters 
and button the last two buttons, or choose 
Tuxedos, which are best of all. White heavy 
skirts and bright red heavy sports sweaters 
can be your ^Waterloo" if you are not careful. 
You can, however, wear a neat, white skirt 




» (1 



J "HI 




In choosing clothes for young girls who are large for their age, 

the same rules of optical illusion apply as for adults. For 

instance, in the above picture the length lines are deftly used 

to emphasize the line of youth. 

that is soft, not too full, and just right in 
length, with a dull, soft blue-green or tan 
light-weight sweater and look very, very 
smart, especially if your shoes and stockings 
are all white — not cut up with black and 
white or sandal-like in shape. And then a 
perky felt or milan hat, trimmed at one side, 
can look a lot better for sports wear than a 
drooping wide brim which seems so ''comfy" 
for big folk. Remember, trimness is your 
goal — ''perfection in simplicity" — so don't 
stop short of it in any detail. 

Even in negligee and in night clothes con- 
sider every article, because habit is as big a f ac- 


tor as fat and quite as difficult to reckon with. 
In making your night dresses, you can panel 
them by means of tucks and make V yokes 
instead of round, or broad square ones. You 
may also have them sleeveless and tailored, 
all of which will help in making for slender- 
ness. Soft crepe night dresses with a woven 
stripe in self color are attractive. Stiff mate- 
rials will never do. Materials that are too 
sheer show the body outline too much, and if 
your material is ''bumpy" of course it, too, is 

Use short shoulders in your negligees and 
have definite length lines. If you must have 
pockets, point them down so that they won't 
square the figure across the hips. And choose 
soft, easy colors that are becoming. Change- 
able taffetas are to be shunned like the mea- 
sles. Soft crepes and small figured silks and 
stripes are all suitable. In this campaign, 
even the bedroom slippers should be of in- 
conspicuous color so as not to take from the 

Work for trimness, neatness, preciseness at 
all times. They all go with a tailored effect 
and must be observed to the letter if you wish 
to achieve the illusion of slenderness in dress. 



There comes a time with all of us when we 
have to admit that we are no longer youth- 
ful, but we never need admit nor should we 
ever feel that we are no longer young. Young 
hearts, young eyes, and young interests can 
always keep within us the fountain of youth, 
and that is our right in life — to enjoy to the 
last day our heritage, which means interest in 
living, expressing beauty, tenderness, and true 

When you have reached this stage of devel- 
opment you should be just as proud and 
happy about it as when you made your debut 
thirty years ago. Your vision can behold 
much more now than it could then, for you 
can now look both forward and backward, 
and then you could only look forward. 

A wise educator says that every woman 
should have three careers : The first, of youth 
and education; the second, of marriage and 
motherhood; the third, of activity in busi- 
ness, or in advanced motherhood, or in social 



or civic life. So it is for the third career that 
I want to write these pages — to you who have 
a real incentive to be attractive yet have a 
definite problem of too much weight. 


There is nothing more discouraging than to 
see a woman become careless of her appear- 
ance as she grows older. Indeed, nowadays 
no woman with proper self-respect would be 
guilty of such a crime, for although dignity 
and womanliness are much to be admired in 
the mature woman, there is certainly no ex- 
cuse for a woman to allow herself to look old 
or dowdy, no matter what her age may be. 
On the contrary, the older you grow, the 
more urgent is your need for clothes that will 
make you look smart and attractive, espe- 
cially if you are even one pound overweight. 
Let your watchword be to dress more smartly 
each year and to pay more attention with each 
succeeding season to the demands of fashion. 
Dress to suit your circumstances and needs, of 
course, but never forget to dress appropriately 
to the occasion as well as to your figure and 
always with a keen appreciation of youth. 

Don't allow salespeople and the family to 

When dignity is the aim, rich lace is often desirable. The 
dress above has a circular flare apron in the front only, and a 
lengthwise panel in the back, the lace band giving the desired 
length line in the front. Some older women prefer a short 
sleeve. A lace sleeve cap is shown for evening wear. Full 
length, close-fitting sleeves are required for this model for 
day-time wear. 

In considering these designs, take up a current fashion book, 
study closely the effective length lines, remembering that obtru- 
sive breaks in the line are to be avoided. The neckline of the 
above dress is a good example of correctness, also the waist- 
line decoration. 

The side line of the suit coat connecting, as it does, with the 

pocket, is another example of subtle harmonious line giving 

the desired length. 



squelch your desire to look attractive. I re- 
member a dear mother woman of 55, round 
and happy looking, who made her husband's 
heart go ^'pit-pat" as much as it had 30 or 40 
years before. She went into a millinery shop 
one day and was shown to the case of bonnets 
for old ladies. Tears came — sincere, tragic 
tears. She turned to her daughter and said 
with a definiteness never to be forgotten, ^'If 
you ever let anybody put one of those hats 
on me I will leave home." And the daughter 
knew that she meant what she said. 

Such a woman is a delight to dress. She is 
interested, has a responsibility, and wants to 
look 45 instead of 55, and so every available 
aid should be at hand to help in so worthy a 

For her, soft silk dresses are best. They 
are more nearly in harmony with kindly good 
humor than stiff firm fabrics. Blue that is 
cool and soft is better for such a type than 
purple or lavender. Lovely grays are better 
than black. Navy blue is best of all. 

Every woman should study her tempera- 
ment and mood along with her type of figure 
and work to dress both as perfectly as pos- 
sible, remembering that a little frosting is 


good on any cake, and even the plainest bread 
is improved with butter and jam. Don't be 
afraid of the smart hat, the new trimming, or 
a trim new collar that is fashionable. It may 
help somebody to fall in love with you all 
over again. Keep on the alert for whatever 
will add youthful charm, womanly dignity, 
and lovely smartness, as well as slenderness. 
All the precautions, suggestions, and in- 
structions throughout this book are even more 
important for you than they are for younger 
women. Here are a few, however, that apply 
especially to you. 


If you are short and stout, select lines defi- 
nitely lengthwise to aid height. Lines that 
extend the full length of the figure are best. 
Neck lines, panels, etc., will improve the gen- 
ral effect if they are made to terminate in a 
point. Crosswise lines and trimmings on 
skirts are not for the short woman, as they 
emphasize breadth and tend to shorten the 
figure. It is particularly important that you 
give careful study to those optical illusions 
which seem to add height and detract width. 
You cannot be too particular about applying 


House or home dresses are as important as those for dress-up 


Plain foundation patterns lend themselves to development of 
good taste dresses such as are shown here. 

A — Fine stripes of smart coloring are often effective, especially 
when definitely tailored. 

B — ^Broken yoke and belt lines are frequently used in sports 

clothes, are youthful, and if right in proportions can be as 

effective as definitely straight lines. 

C — A shirtwaist dress often achieves the slender line by the 

continuance of the double line panel in both blouse and skirt. 

Note that the sleeve is slashed to break the width. 

D — Small figured all-over design materials are allowable if 
both design and coloring are inconspicuous. Note here that the 
sleeve is short, an appropriate length with an untrimmed skirt. 

1 60 


these rules to every garment that you either 
make or buy. 


The tall mature stout figure should watch 
her lines so that they will not overemphasize 
height. Draped, as well as tunic skirts may 
be used to advantage. The possibilities of 
applying trimming features to garments for 
the tall woman are more allowable than for 
the short woman, but great care must be used 
to avoid an upholstered effect that detracts 
from her essential dignity. 

If the length of the waist is short in pro- 
portion to the skirt length, design and color 
combinations that do not tend to accentuate 
this irregularity should be selected. A very 
common mistake in such cases is to wear a 
skirt with a high waist line or a dark belt 
with a white or a light-colored blouse. A 
short-waisted woman should choose skirts 
with regulation waist lines or long-waisted 
blouse effects. 


Skirts, whether full or narrow, that are cut 
as long as possible without attracting undue 

1 62 


Straight lines in skirts are always advantageous, especially so 

if the figure is short below the waist. These suggestions are 

given as aids to variety. 

attention to their length or causing discom- 
fort, long tunic skirts, and plain, straight- 
plaited skirts are desirable for the stout wo- 
man. She should consistently avoid tiered 
skirts or skirts with ruffles, shirring, and ex- 
cessive or crosswise trimming. 

The older you are, the more generous you 
can be in skirt length and fullness, though in 
no case should your skirts be noticeably far 
from fashion's dictates. 


The sleeves for the mature stout should be 
plain and soft in appearance and have a ten- 
dency to cling to the arm. If the forearm 
is large and heavy, a sleeve that comes just 
below the elbow or to a point 3 or 4 inches 


above the wrist is suitable. Long, bulky 
sleeves, however, should never be worn on a 
heavy forearm. If long sleeves are worn, 
they should be made to fit very close below 
the elbov/, and should be finished at the lower 
edge with a fold of net or lace or fabric or 
with a moderately small, light-weight, flaring 
cufif. Such finishes will make the hand ap- 
pear smaller when a glove is not worn. 

The mature stout woman should never ex- 
pose her shoulders and upper arms when in 
evening attire; rather, she should cover the 
flesh with filmy lace or chiffon, or she should 
wear a scarf of tulle, preferably of black or 
a silent tone, across the shoulders and the 
arms. White will make the arms appear 
larger than they really are, and black will 
give the opposite effect. 


In choosing the trimmings for your gar- 
ments, remember that buttons or trimmings 
placed in flat patch effect, as in squares, tri- 
angles, or diamonds, will tend to add thick- 
ness and destroy dignity, while if they are 
arranged in single rows or broken lines they 
will add dignity and at the same time give 

When dignity is the aim, one must always seek to give interest 
in line. Youth can manage severity in line and can wear satis- 
factorily garments that are untrimmed, but with advancing 
years, there comes a greater necessity for variety in deail. 

A coat, for instance, might be boyishly plain for a 20-year-old 

girl weighing 160, but for the same weight at 50 one needs to 

slip in a friendly line or cozy bit of fur to modify the severely 


The examples shown on the opposite page are worthy of close 
study, and a smart Fashion Book at your right hand will allow 
you a modish use of these correct lines in any current fashion. 




the appearance of length. Harmonizing, 
rather than contrasting colors should be se- 
lected for trimmings, so that they will not 
stand out boldly from the garment. Never 
should the collar, the belt, or the finish at the 
bottom of the skirt be permitted to attract the 
eye before thq garment itself does, but they 
should be arranged so as to be as incon- 
spicuous as possible. Tucks, plaits, and 
seams should be made to extend up and down 
the garment instead of around it. Nowhere 
else can the laws of optical illusion be so 
effectively applied, with such noticeable re- 
sults, as in the matter of trimmings. A single 
ornament, wrongly placed, can mar an entire 
costume for the woman who wants to achieve 


The mature woman — the woman past her 
first youth — owes it to herself, her family, 
and the world at large to be as becomingly 
and appropriately dressed as intelligent ef- 
fort, skill, and available money will permit. 
On her rests the responsibility, example, 
standard of right living, and the function of 


leadership. Also it is her duty not only to 
attract and please, but to hold the admiration 
of those who believe in her, and by her 
charming appearance, poise, and dignity to 
make her particular sphere, no matter how 
small or seemingly unimportant it may be, 
radiate joy, peace, and progress. 

Nearly everybody agrees with the adage 
that ^'a woman is as old as she looks and a 
man as old as he feels;" at least, there is no 
doubt that the mature woman has a big ad- 
vantage over the mature man. By her dress, 
the woman of today can prolong her youth 
and at the same time she can take on that 
poise and dignity which the accumulation of 
years and experience generously bestows upon 
her, provided, of course, she accepts these 
years and experiences in the right spirit. 
Deep down in every normal woman lies the 
girl nature, and becoming, appropriate 
clothes make possible the return of the girl 
spirit in a dignified way that imparts real 

There is no definite or set period when cer- 
tain styles of clothes are to be worn by women 
of different ages. The age limit for certain 
styles is within the control of every woman 

Would you believe that the pattern of these two dresses is 
exactly the same? This illustrates how you can vary a dress 
once you find the foundation lines that are becoming to you. 
One pattern can suffice for both a tailored and an afternoon 
dress, as you see both effects are pleasing in their slenderness. 



herself, and, naturally, the woman who has 
the most intelligent knowledge and appre- 
ciation of herself and her clothes will gener- 
ally be the best dressed and will convey that 
undeniable pleasure to observers — a well- 
dressed and dignified appearance. 

Frequently, a woman does not become 
noticeably stout until she has reached the 
neighborhood of 45 or 46 years. This time 
of life is usually the most trying for any 
woman, for when youth has taken flight it 
makes necessary three things if a woman 
wishes to continue to appear attractive and 
pleasing: dignity, careful grooming, and cor- 
rect selection of color, lines, and fabric. Cor- 
rect corseting is, of course, absolutely essen- 
tial in order that the entire costume may be in 
perfect harmony with her individuality and 
that she may have the appearance of absolute 
comfort and ease. 

But there is no reason why a woman of fifty 
cannot look smartly dressed, and so she 
should. It is not only desirable but neces- 
sary for her to keep active and progressive 
both in mind and in body, and as women's 
clubs and good reading matter help to de- 
velop her intelligence in other respects, so 


they are aiming also to help her in selecting 
the best materials, colors, and styles for her 

Fashion folks need money from all of us 
to keep their lovely shops going, so hunt 
around, find the shop that has things becom- 
ing to you, then buy or copy them as your 
purse dictates, and study fashion magazines 
and shop windows as you would a speller at 
a ^'spelling bee." Dress up — be gracious and 
charming! Everybody will love you for do- 
ing it and you will look ten years younger as 
a result. 



Don't wear your hats too small. No big 
woman should look like a pyramid. On the 
other hand, don't ever allow your hat brims, 
when you want to look alluring, to extend be- 
yond your shoulders. Just inside is wide 
enough and more becoming. Medium sized 
hats are best at all times. Pokes are taboo if 
your head sets close to your shoulders. Let 
the facings of your hats be of a becoming 
color. This is an ideal way of emphasizing 
the color of your eyes. But don't let the fac- 
ing show prominently, for if you do your 
height will seem to terminate with the bottom 
of your hat and you will lose in appearance 
in consequence. 

The evolution in woman's habits of living 
has made the enormous hat perched on top of 
a high pompadour an utter impossibility, and 
no woman needs to move farther away from 
such a fad than the big woman. Her hat 
must fit her perfectly, in head size and in 
width and height, and at the same time must 



be comfortable, smart, and becoming. It is 
essential that the hat be worn correctly, 
'^rightly set," for it is easy to lose dignity if 
the hat appears to be hung on a corner of the 
head instead of being placed so as to become, 
apparently, a part of the head. 


In the category of shapes we have the flat 
sailor, with brim from 1 inch to 5 inches 
wide; the drooping or mushroom brim; the 
even roll brim; the irregular roll; the coronet 
brim ; and the toque. The round plump face 
should never be framed with an even rolling 
brim which suggests the moon with a ring 
around it, but should have its roundness 
lengthened by an angular curve or broken 
line that will give height at the side, or a dia- 
dem coronet effect, giving height in the 
direct front. The crown should be at least as 
broad as the cheeks and continue that width, 
or spread a little wider at the top, but never 
assume a cone shape. 

The plump woman lives through a period 
when a sailor line is most becoming of all. 
Then comes a time, and she, herself, cannot 
tell why, when the sailor proves a disappoint- 



These two examples show how even a hat with drooping brim, 
if not too wide, can be worn by the stout person if trimming 
is adeptly used to direct the vision upward and lend an illu- 
sion of height. 

ment. It is then that she turns to a larger 
hat or to a turban type, either of which can 
prove just as unflattering as the sailor if it is 
too large or too small. You need to watch 
both size and shape for the big hat can make 
you look top heavy, the little hat old. 

A short, stout woman should avoid a 
squatty mushroom hat, because it exaggerates 
her lack of height, and adds years in appear- 
ance. She should choose a narrow brim and 
high crown, calculated to add length of line 
and absorb some of the rotundity of her fea- 
tures. The woman who is proportionately 
larger than the average will find the drooping 


mushroom with rather broad sides and a me- 
dium size crown that conforms to the shape 
of the head, trimmed in an even compact 
arrangement, decidedly becoming. 

The stout woman of medium height can 
wear this same type of hat with slight alter- 
ation on the brim line; that is, instead of the 
sides drooping down midway from the head- 
size on both sides, the brim assumes a slight 
upward curve which continues around the 
back while the crown may be from one to two 
inches taller than ordinarily. This depends 
upon the prevailing fashion. 

If the chin recedes, never wear a hat that 
flares up and forward from the brow, for it 
would emphasize the line of the chin. A 
hat with a tiny brim and a high, straight 
crown seems the best style. Accordingly, the 
large woman with a protruding chin requires 
a counteracting forward effect in the brim; 
therefore, she will find a small hat, with an 
abrupt upward turning brim, in the style gen- 
erally known as the Russian eflfect, smart and 

The double chin is another problem that 
the large woman has found difficult to solve. 
For this type, the rather high hat, or a top- 



Here trimming is used on two entirely different types of hats 

to give in each case added height to 'the figure and help in 

attaining a slenderizing appearance. 

Left — Hats with medium brims and high trimming are often 
becoming, especially if wide enough to avoid the pyramid effect. 

Right — High built trimming and delicate veils are advan- 
tageous where a double chin is the handicap. 

heavy turban, if it conforms to the vogue and 
is in good taste, is desirable. A scarf or veil 
craftily arranged around the neck will do 
much to hide this unbecoming roll of flesh. 
Nowhere is a thorough knowledge of the laws 
of optical illusion more necessary than in your 
selection of hats. Cheap hats are a false 
economy, especially for the large woman. 
Do not, therefore, spend your good money on 


any hat unless you are sure it will add the 
desired lines to your appearance. This, as 
you must realize by this time, is really quite 
easy to do. 


To avoid harsh and trying colors in hats 
should be the principal aim of the big wo- 
man, for they tend to emphasize the bigness 
we are trying to make less conspicuous. The 
staples, dark navy and black, are always 
equally suitable for blondes and brunettes, 
and carry smartness for street wear. Grays, 
too, provided the skin permits them, are in 
good taste. Silver gray, platinum or zinc 
are good choices for the large woman. While 
you need not be overwhelmingly conventional, 
you must appreciate your limitations about 
the extremes in shapes, color, and trimming 

Trimmings for our hats should never be 
heavy nor '^bunchy," but at an angle and 
more perky than anything else. Avoid small 
ornaments, too. A bow or ornament on a hat 
can make a great deal of difference in its 
height-giving advantages. 




First, beware of fur coats. Even though 
rich and luxurious, they are bulky and heavy 
in appearance. Trim, tailored coats are more 
flattering and less expensive, so think twice 
before you buy a fur coat. Buy lovely soft 
fabrics that are rich in quality and soft 
enough to ^'cling." Remember that word and 
think of it every time you buy anything but 
hats. Let your coat be unbroken in line and 
untrimmed. A big button set on the stomach 
can destroy more art than you can plan out 
in a month. Oblong buttons at the side or 
string ties of the material of the coat are best. 

Have your coat long or hip length. Watch 
the line carefully. There is a point that is 
becoming in length ; make sure you find it. 

As shown here, fasteners 
for coats should be placed 
at the side and be as in- 
conspicuous as possible. 


If you are square shouldered you may find 
capes very becoming, but generally they add 
size rather than reduce it. 

Long fur or fabric scarfs are desirable. 
Ostrich or ruffly scarfs, of course, are to be 
looked at with admiration for their softness 
and color, but rarely worn by anyone desiring 
a slenderizing effect. 



We cannot all be beautiful but we can give 
pleasure to ourselves and others by being 
correctly and pleasingly attired at all times. 
And it is necessary, too, this keeping always 
alert, in this day of competition and progres- 
sive freedom of women. Your responsibility 
to look well is greater than ever before. So 
work, watch, study and persevere and be 
happy about it. Good health is the greatest 
essential. And no matter what you weigh, 
you can, by following the rules given you in 
this book, look at least 20 to 40 pounds lighter 
than you are. You can have real fun and 
keep ofif any additional weight by your alert- 
ness, interest and enthusiasm for looking your 
'^slenderest best" all the time. 

Of course, women who are decidedly over- 
weight need to know these rules of slenderiz- 
ing dress more than those who are only a 
few pounds above the normal. But in this 
imperfect world of ours there are few women 



indeed, no matter how much or how little 
they may weigh, whose proportions are per- 
fect and satisfactory. Where indeed is the 
woman or girl who would not like to be a 
little slimmer here, a little taller there, a 
little more gracefully proportioned one place 
or another? 


I cannot be too emphatic in my assertion 
that the wrong clothes, or even a wrong detail 
in a costume may mar an entire effect and 
may indeed create the illusion of ungainli- 
ness and dumpiness even in a girl who may 
be underweight, as far as actual pounds go. 
Perfect proportions then are the aim of every 
woman who wants to make the best of her- 
self and I am certain that a careful study of 
these rules of optical illusion and an intelli- 
gent application of them will improve the 
appearance of every woman. 

Nor is it the moneyed woman who is al- 
ways the best dressed. Far from it indeed. 
Sometimes it is the shop girl whose few dol- 
lars have been wisely and intelligently spent 
for smartness and becomingness who looks 


most charming and most distinguished, for 
since these girls rarely have rich furs and 
jewels they can more simply and more tell- 
ingly emphasize beauty of line and color. 

The stout woman improves her position by 
omission rather than addition. ^'Every little 
bit added to what you have makes just a little 
bit more" is all right for Scotch pennies, but 
not for one who is working to look 30 or 40 
pounds lighter. Be slim by being trim; be 
attractive by being immaculate; and strive 
with all your might for grace, ease, and per- 
sonal charm. Never yield to a misuse of 
color, line, or fabric. Never give up in your 
determination to dress for slenderness. You 
must admit right now that it is far more in- 
teresting than diet and much more effective. 

And now that you know the rules, study 
and practice them. Apply them to perfec- 
tion so that when dressed you will make a 
picture of loveliness such as all may envy 
and admire. 

Whistler says, ^^A picture is finished when 
all trace of the means used to bring about the 
end has disappeared. 

''To say of a picture, as is often said in its 
praise, that it shows great and earnest labor, 


is to say that it is incomplete and unfit to 

'The work of the master reeks not of the 
sweat of the brow — it suggests no effort.'' 

So hide the means, let it not be visible to 
any one that you have deliberately and with 
intent worked to achieve slenderness in your 
dress. Only in that way will you really 
achieve it. 


As you have read and studied this book you 
have been told many times what not to do. 
This advice has been repeated so frequently 
because I have wanted to impress you with 
the fact that simplicity in dress is the first 
essential of Youth, Dignity and Slenderness. 
So to leave out of your costume the offensive 
coloring, line or trimming is of prime im- 

Here are a few points always to be remem- 
bered in planning and designing or in buying 
clothes for yourself : 

Choose fabrics that cling, that are of 
smooth, soft surface, that are lusterless. 

Choose colors that recede — none that "light 
up" and '^advance'' in the eye. 


Avoid clothes that are too small. 

Avoid a tight, short waist line. 

Avoid skirts that are too full, too short, or 
too long. 

Use set-in sleeves rather than kimono 
sleeves unless the arm is very attractive. Then 
the sleeve must be very short or the dress 

And here, finally, are ten chief rules that 
will help you profit to the utmost by what 
you have learned from this book and aid you 
speedily in attaining that slenderized appear- 
ance which is your aim : 


1. Whenever you make over an old gar- 
ment or design, have made, or purchase a new 
one always apply to it the rules of optical 
illusion as regards line, color, and fabric. 

2. When you know what is becoming, try 
to achieve becomingness in an attractive way, 
emphasizing as much smartness and youthful 
charm in your dress as age, circumstances and 
occasion will allow. 

3. Consider what is best for you as an in- 
dividual. Study your type until you are 


sure what you can and what you cannot wear 
— do not try fantastic experiments unless you 
have unlimited means. 

4. Make it a definite rule to assemble your 
attire and decide on every detail before you 
begin to dress. 

5. Aim always to be refreshing, clean, 
neat, and carefully groomed. 

6. Wear neat, good looking, perfect fit- 
ting shoes appropriate to the size of your feet, 
and choose trim, sheer stockings that do not 
contrast too strikingly, if at all, with the color 
of your costume. 

7. Be sure your corsets are right for you 
and that they surround you comfortably, but 
do not mold or hold your flesh too tightly. 
Let your brassiere fit perfectly. 

8. Let your slip be of fine, smooth silk or 
batiste. Have it of the same color as your 
dress or of a harmonizing shade. Let the 
bottom edge come a trifle shorter than that 
of the dress, and be sure it fits you without a 

9. When you are dressed, look yourself 
over carefully in front of your mirror and 
improve every detail as much as possible. 
Before the last look or the last dab of pow- 


der, consider carefully whether you are over- 
dressed and whether all accessories go to- 
gether, and especially make certain that you 
are not overtrimmed with jewelry, necklaces, 
or knickknacks. 

10. Then, when all is done, put on a smile 
that expresses the finest that is in you, that 
compliments you for doing your best. And 
if, to this smile, you add all the kindliness 
that you can command, all the happiness that 
you can summon, your friends and your very 
own folks will declare you charming.